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


Area Drug Busts

Lee County’s Narcotics Task Force has busted a northeast Missouri woman on felony drugs charges. 20-year-old Candy Weddle (featured in picture) of Wayland faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of Possession of a Schedule-2 Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver within 1,000 feet of a school. In Des Moines County, authorities picked up 50-year-old Bill Tisor of Burlington on a Muscatine County warrant for buying too much Pseudophedrine, one of the ingredients used to make meth.   Continue Reading

Iowa Senator Seeks Ceiling on Corporate Tax Credits

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa Senate Democrat has introduced legislation intended to halt the last transfer of state tax credits to the fertilizer plant being built south of Wever in Lee County. Sen. Joe Bolkcom, of Iowa City, proposed a bill Tuesday meant to prevent Orascom, an Egyptian multinational corporation, from requesting a final $25 million tax credit installment.  

In 2012, Gov. Terry Branstad promised the company $100 million in investment tax credits, in addition to other federal, state and local incentives, in exchange for the creation of 165 permanent jobs in Iowa. Bolkcom’s proposal would cap the amount of investment tax credits any corporation can receive at $75 million.   Bolkcom said in a statement that this is Iowa’s last chance to avoid “needlessly” giving away more money. Continue Reading


Property Tax Bill Higher? You’re Not Alone!

There are some changes afoot in the Des Moines County Assessor’s office.  

and many local taxpayers won’t like the end result.  Assessor Matt Warner says about 90% of the county’s property owners have been sent change notices, meaning their assessed value has either gone up or down, but didn’t remain the same. Warner took the time at yesterday’s County Board meeting to dispel the rumor that his office was doing this with the express purpose of generating more tax money.   He also put the kibosh on what calls “misinformation,” that new computer software is to blame. If you’re one of those affected by the new assessments, you have three choices — you can pay the bill, you can schedule an informal review with the Assessor’s office between now and May 4, or you can file a formal appeal between April 7 and May 5 and the Board of Review will schedule a full hearing sometime in May. Continue Reading


A New Press Box and More Parking for Bracewell

Bracewell Stadium in Burlington may soon get a major face-lift. The Burlington School Board approved to move forward with the bidding process at last night’s meeting for the press-box renovation. Byron Wittlesey, who’s in charge of maintenance for the district, spoke to us last night about their plans… The Whole Truth Gospel Church of Holiness on South Central Street in Burlington, which is now owned by the school, is expected to come down this week to create more parking… The financial impact is around $750,000 from sales tax, which Whittlesey says will not cover the entire project, so they may have to alter their plans. Continue Reading


Something Burlington Tax Payers Should Know…

There are some changes afoot in the Des Moines County Assessor’s Office, and many local taxpayers may not like the end result.

Assessor Matt Warner says about 90% of the county’s property owners have been sent change notices, meaning their assessed value has gone up or down.. Warner also took the time at today’s meeting to dispel at least one rumor… Continue Reading