DMC Board Makes it Tougher to get Fireworks Permit

There have been some complaints, so the Des Moines County Board has decided to make it a little tougher to get a permit to shoot off fireworks. Acting County Attorney Amy Beavers is following Iowa State Code…… In a related matter, a current permit request (by Rickey Gletty) has been tabled til an upcoming meeting. Continue Reading


Gov, Hatch to Have Local Debate

Republican Governor Terry Branstad, seeking his sixth term, has accepted invitations to participate in three debates with his Democratic opponent before the November election — without checking with his opponent first. 

State Senator Jack Hatch, Branstad’s Democratic opponent, has agreed to take part as well and he’s also calling for six additional debates, plus one between the two candidates for Lt. Governor.   One of the forums, on Saturday, September 20 in Burlington, will focus on jobs and the economy, while the other two will cover any-and-all topics.  

The Branstad campaign’s spokesman is calling Hatch “tacky and desperate” to suggest six more debates. The campaign also points out Branstad participated in just three debates in his 2010 campaign against Democratic Governor Chet Culver. Continue Reading


Highway 34 Coalition Meeting to Talk About 4-Lane

Slowly but surely, a portion of the two lane highway from Burlington to Monmouth is getting wider. However, a large portion remains unfunded, according to Highway 34 Coalition Representative Michele Schnicker…. At a rally cry meeting tomorrow, Schnicker will tell her story and speak about the importance of getting the 4-lane highway finished…. Her husband was killed when a semi crossed the center line and was hit head on. The meeting begins at 9:30am tomorrow at the West Central Elementary School Cafeteria in Biggsville. Continue Reading


UPDATED: Chris Young in a Cast; Still Coming to SBD

There’s been a lot of talk about this Thursday night’s main stage act at Burlington Steamboat Days. County music artist Chris Young accidentally cut himself with a kitchen knife while making a late-night snack at home after attending his 13th annual fan club party aboard the General Jackson showboat in Nashville. The 28-year-old underwent two surgeries, including one to repair damaged tendons. Young will be in a cast for a while, and it has people curious if he will be performing this Thursday at Steamboat Days. According to a Steamboat Days official, they told us he will be here. Continue Reading


Tax Abatement Talk Resumes; Should Relief Go to Home Buyer or Developer?

The Burlington City Council agreed by consensus last(Mon) night to seek more public input on whether to let developers offer their customers a 10-year property-tax abatement on new construction.  Economic Development Director David Toyer (of the Greater Burlington Partnership) says Burlington is growing…albeit slowly…for the first time in almost 40 years…and he pleaded with the Council to help keep the momentum going. Toyer says potential employees are much more likely these days to take a job based on a city’s housing stock and other life-quality amenities than just for the position itself. The Council will schedule a public hearing on the abatement matter. Continue Reading


Tuition at SCC Increased $8 More Per Credit Hour

Just like many other community colleges and universities, tuition at Southeastern Community College is going up. One reason for the increase is declining enrollment, which can be attributed to a number of things like the economy, or as President Michael Ash mentioned at tonight’s board meeting, the Fertilizer Plant in Wever is offering around $22 an hour for construction work, so some students have dropped out. Ash does mention, that although tuition is being increased $8 per credit hour, it’s still a better deal vs. going to a university… Tuition was $145 per credit hour and will now be $153 for the upcoming fall semester. Continue Reading

road construction

It’s Not Winter, So It’s Construction Season

Several street & road-repair projects to report today….. Burlington Municipal Waterworks says you should avoid…through Thursday…Howard Road, between West Avenue and Bauer Lane, while they install a new system at 34-60 Augusta Road. In addition, the 2200 and 2300 blocks of Mt. Pleasant Street in Burlington will be narrowed to one lane in each direction through Wednesday, so some surface repairs can be done. In the county, 78th Avenue should still be closed through this(Mon) afternoon, north of its intersection with 260th Street, so a crew can finish up some culvert work. Continue Reading


FM Prison Transfer Still On-Hold

The man who’ll oversee operations of the new Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison says it’s still not quite ready to house inmates. (Picture is from a tour of the new facility last year)

Warden Nick Ludwick says crews are still trying to fix a malfunctioning geothermal system in the new facility. The problem was first noticed back in late April. Ludwick says the new prison includes four housing units, plus many other large buildings, so it’s taking a long time to complete the repairs. In October of last year, reporters were given a tour of the new Iowa State Penitentiary. Continue Reading


Council Work Session to Focus on Housing Development

The Burlington City Council holds a work session today(Mon) at 4:30 and will hear a presentation by departing Convention & Visitors Bureau Director Beth Nickel. (Later, the SCC Board’s expected to approve Nickel’s hiring as the local college’s new Sales & Marketing Director for its Center for Business…C-BIZ.) Also on the council’s agenda is a presentation by Economic Development Director David Toyer on the need for housing in the area and how that relates to local developers’ calls for a 10-year, citywide property-tax abatement on home building. The Council will talk some more about the possibility of removing more traffic lights from the downtown…residency requirements for the various city boards, committees and commissions…and an appointment to the Greater Burlington Sports Commission. Continue Reading