Burlington Firefighter Grant to be Voted on Monday

Burlington’s Firefighter Union is urging residents to attend the city council meeting this coming Monday. They’re hoping that if there’s a large turnout, the council will accept a $493,000 Federal Grant to hire three new firefighters. Burlington’s Fire Chief, Matt Trexel says some communities have turned the grant down… “A lot of them don’t like the idea that we take on extra personnel, and then in two years, if we’re not going to be able to afford them, we’ll have to lay them off. No one likes to layoff firefighters.” Continue Reading


Smoke it, Eat it or Fry with it, It’s Still Pot

Local authorities have revealed the results of a major marijuana bust they made earlier this week north of Burlington. 58-year old Ray Smith of 126-73 Flint Bottom Road has been charged initially with Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Deliver and a drug tax-stamp violation.  A search of Smith’s home by the Southeast Iowa Narcotics Task Force, Des Moines County deputies and investigators and Burlington Police detectives uncovered more than five pounds of harvested marijuana, over 550 marijuana cookies, three pounds of pot-laced lard, and a large amount of cash.  

Smith turned himself in yesterday and was booked on warrants.  A judge set his bond at $15,000, pending a first court appearance. Continue Reading


DMCo Assessor Says 57% of Residential Property Now Valued Higher, 37% Lower, No Change for the Rest

Des Moines County Assessor Matt Warner says more than 50 people have already requested informal hearings, after his office sent out close to 19,000 change notices to local property-tax payers. Warner says across-the-board, residential valuations are up about two percent from last year, 57% of the County’s residential property owners had higher valuations and 37% were assigned lower values.   For the remaining six percent, there was no change.    Warner has himself and a staff of three others to handle the informal disputes and we wondered whether four people could handle potentially many more objections.  He said he doesn’t know yet. Continue Reading


Campgrounds Open in Des Moines County

It may not feel like spring, but that hasn’t stopped people from taking advantage of Des Moines County Campgrounds. Conservation Director Chris Lee says they’ve already had their first camper at Big Hollow. The Campgrounds opened April 1st, with the exception of a couple, according to Lee… He says they made an improvement to Big Hollow last year that not many people got to take advantage of… Just recently they started taking reservations for their new primitive cabin at Big Hollow… Continue Reading


Talking Dog Visits Burlington Library

A very popular yellow dog made a stop at Burlington’s Public Library yesterday to surprise her fans. “Martha Speaks” is a popular children show on Iowa Public Television. Our own Savanna Evans asked 7-year-old Riley Villont to tell her about the tv show… Villont also told us what she likes most about the show… Dozens of young kids got the chance to hug, take pictures, and play rock paper scissors with the beloved talking dog. Continue Reading


DMCo Residents Upset with “Factory” Hog Farms Request Public Forum from County Supervisors

Jean Lappe of Morning Sun made a request of the Des Moines County Board this week — hold a public hearing to get input about all the big hog farms that are popping up in the area.  

Lappe represents a group known as Des Moines County Farmers & Neighbors,” and its members say the proliferation of confined animal-feed operations…CAFOS, for short…in southeast Iowa are destroying their roads, their health, their property values and their quality-of-life.  

County Board Chairman Bob Beck raises pigs near Danville and says hog farmers and the protesters have at least two things in common:  They both want clean water and air.  


Lappe is aware that the Iowa DNR governs these operations, but she’d like to get more public backing from the area’s county officials.  Beck told her he doesn’t know if there’s anything the County can do, but he promised to check with the County Attorney’s office to see. Continue Reading


IA Supreme Court Takes New London School Sexual Abuse Case

The Iowa Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday on whether a former New London student can sue the school district for emotional problems caused by the sexual abuse of a teacher and track coach. The district court ruled the case could go forward. The school district’s lawyer, Steve Ort, argues the case brought by the student in connection with the abuse by former teacher Gina Sisk was filed too late. The student known as Jane Doe, did not file her case until after learning of another case involving Sisk. Ort says the student was 18 at the time of the last abuse, and knew the relationship with Sisk was wrong. Continue Reading


Firefighters Local-301 Urges Grassroots Support for S.A.F.E.R. Grant

Burlington’s firefighters union is asking for public support, to help ensure that the City Council will accept a $493,000 federal SAFER grant to hire three new firefighter-parmedics for two years, including salaries and benefits.  

On a full-page ad insert found in the Hawk Eye, a local newspaper, Local 301 of the International Firefighters Association urges residents to attend next Monday’s Council meeting at 6:30, or to contact members Shane Mccampbell, Becky Anderson, Bob Fleming and Becky Shockley.   Councilman Tim Scott is not mentioned in the ad. Continue Reading


Tri-State Rodeo Kick-Off Party Friday

The 67th annual Tri-State Rodeo is coming up in September but a kick-off for the event is scheduled for this Friday (April 4th). They’ll be announcing this year’s entertainment, including the specialty and national musical acts. The party starts at 6pm at Kinnick South in Fort Madison. The 2014 Tri-State Rodeo is set for September 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th. Continue Reading