Iowa Fertilizer President: Plant on Track to Finish by End of 2015

The head of the Iowa Fertilizer company says that they’re on track to finish their plant in Wever by the end of this year. Shawn Rana appeared on the KBUR Talk Show last week, telling hosts Steve Hexom and Rob Sussman the plant is currently about 85% and has surpassed job creation expectations so far. “We promised the state 165 full time positions. We’re at 185 already,” Rana told KBUR. “We’re looking to fill a few more, but we’re hitting our peak.” And that’s just for after the plant is built. Right now, 2,900 workers are constructing the plant in Weaver, working around the clock on the state-of-the art production facility that will produce Nitrogen enriched fertilizer–the first one built in the United States in 25 years. Continue Reading

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City Officials: West Burlington Fire Chief Dies Unexpectedly

West Burlington’s Fire Chief has died. City officials say that Fire Chief Mike Heim passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at his home in West Burlington from what appears to be natural causes. Heim had been with the department since November 2010, he was the first full-time chief of the department. Funeral arrangements are still pending. City Administrator Dan Gifford and Deputy Fire Chief Mike Steward will temporarily take over Heim’s duties. Continue Reading

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Burlington Police Investigating Early Morning Home Invasion

Burlington Police are investigating a violent early morning home invasion in which a man was assaulted. Police officials say that at around 12:24 am, one of the residents at a home at 116 North Marshall called police reporting that two men kicked down his door. The men assaulted him and then stole his cell phone. They’re described as black males in their mid to late teens. If you have any information, contact Burlington Police at 319-753-8366 or Crimestoppers 75-DO-TEL (753-6835). Continue Reading

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Fires Punctuate Wind-Blown Weekend

Fire risk is elevated this weekend throughout the area, and already local fire crews have dealt with at least a dozen grass fires and two housefires. Grass fires were fought near Fort Madison, Danville, Kingston, Wapello, Lomax, Fairfield, What Cheer, Hedrick, Blakesburg, Dallas City, and Gladstone as dry conditions combined with 45 mph wind gusts. At least two houses caught fire on Sunday. A house on Walnut Street in Gladstone was completely engulfed by fire and another house in Colchester also caught fire. No Burn Bans are in place, but the National Weather Service strongly recommends not burning anything outside. Continue Reading

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Air Evac Dispatched after Child Playing With Phone Dials 911, Reports Fake Train Accident

Hancock County, Illinois, Sheriff’s officials say that it was a young child playing with a phone that triggered a report of a train hitting pedestrians in Hancock County. At around 9:00am, a report of someone being hit by a train near Augusta was received by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. 911 operators say the person calling in the accident sounded “like a child”. Sheriff’s department officials say that the report was completely unfounded, however an Air Evac helicopter along with medical personnel from a number of area emergency agencies were summoned to the area. Law enforcement protocol dictates Air Evac helicopters are dispatched whenever an accident that could have serious injuries is reported. Continue Reading

Burlington Area Men Arrested on Drug Charges in Henry County

Two Burlington area men and a juvenile were arrested by Henry County Sheriff’s Deputies on felony drug charges on Friday. Henry County Sheriff’s Department officials say that a call about suspicious activity at Oakland Mills Dam led to the arrest of 18 year olds Austin Boyer of West Burlington and Daniel Interrante of Burlington, as well as a juvenile. All three were charged with conspiracy and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and failure to affix a drug tax stamp. Continue Reading

12 Year Old Boy Shot to Death in Quincy

Quincy Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying whomever shot a 12 year old boy to death earlier Saturday morning. KHQA-TV in Quincy reports that the shooting happened around 1:00 Saturday morning in the 1100 block of North 5th. When police arrived, a 12 year old boy was found outside of the residence with a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead after arriving at Blessing Hospital. Quincy Police is investigating the shooting as homicide. Continue Reading

Illinois Man Dead after Jumping from Keokuk-Hamilton Bridge

A Hamilton, Illinois man is dead after apparently jumping off of the Keokuk-Hamilton Bridge on Thursday. Keokuk Police say that the body of Wayne Troutman, age 29, was found dead on the railroad tracks below the bridge at around 10:48 am after receiving a report of an unresponsive male. The railroad tracks under the bridge were closed off for about an hour. Continue Reading

The fire burns. Photos by Michelle Talley and Amber Sloan of the Eastern Iowa Firegrounds Group.

Fairfield Fire Damages Two Businesses

Two businesses that share the same roof were damaged in a Friday afternoon fire. SCB, inc, and Paint Line, both occupying the same building on Grimes Street in Fairfield, caught fire during the 1:00 hour on Friday. It’s not known what started the fire. Fairfield Firefighters, with help from Libertyville and Packwood Fire Departments, fought the blaze for several hours. They were still on scene as of 7:00 pm. Continue Reading