Accused Meth-Maker Busted

It was a busy morning for Burlington Police today(Thurs) — They made a traffic stop at Agency and Osborn just after 3:45 and the passenger was a man they’d been looking for since early last month. 24-year old Chris Oberlander of Burlington was served with warrants for Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Possession of Meth Precursors, Criminal Mischief and Theft.  He’ll spend some time in the county jail.   Authorities say his mother, as she was evicting him from an apartment at 13-10 Jefferson on March 4th, found meth-making materials and called police.  

By the way, the driver of the car stopped this(Thur) morning was 45-year old Troy Phillips, who will face a laundry list of charges, including Possession of Marijuana and Other Dangerous Drugs and Driving Without a License. Continue Reading


Two More Locals Arrested for Passing Fake Checks

Two more people were arrested today for the passing of fraudulent checks in the Burlington area. The Burlington Police Department has been investigating this crime for the past two months, arresting six individuals. The latest arrests made today were of 20-year-old Kendall Buckley of Burlington and 31-year-old Brian Bruce of West Burlington. They have been charged with Ongoing Criminal Conduct and are being held in the Des Moines County Jail on $25,000 bond pending a court appearance. The fraudulent payroll checks these individuals are passing around are allegedly from businesses such as UPS, Target, Wal-Mart and Applebees. Continue Reading


Burglar Still on the Loose in Mediapolis

The town of Mediapolis is still dealing with a number of burglaries. The Des Moines County Sheriff’s Department has been working hard trying to figure out who is behind all the car and home break-ins, but have not found the individual yet. There was a burglary arrest made last week but Sheriff Mike Johnstone says, it’s not the person they’re looking for… Crime Stoppers is still offering a reward of up to $1,000 for any information that leads to an arrest. The Sheriff believes the burglar is a young male from descriptions he’s received, but has no further details because the man has only been seen at night. Continue Reading

Local COBCO Board Signs 6-Month Deal with Two Rivers Insurance

Des Moines County Supervisor Tom Broeker told his colleagues on the County Board yesterday(Tues) that the “breakup” of Wellmark-Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Two Rivers Insurance will not impact county employees’ health insurance coverage. COBCO is the cooperative among the county’s municipalities, including the county itself, for insurance purposes, and the COBCO governing board has signed a 6-month contract with Two Rivers..  

On another front, the frustration was obvious yesterday (Tues) morning, when Des Moines County Supervisor Jim Cary reported on the last Rural Utility Service Systems…RUSS for short…board meeting.  The dissatisfaction has been growing with the cost of “RUSS’s” work to install sanitary sewer systems in small, usually unincorporated towns, like Argyle, Mt. Union and the Mooar/Powdertown area, where an engineer recently estimated the cost of a sewer system could run from 1.8 to 2 1/2-million dollars for 48 homes. Continue Reading


FM Prison Transfer Delayed Again

There’s been another setback in plans to move inmates into the new Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison. First, the harsh winter slowed construction work and delayed the transfer of inmates. Now, Department of Corrections spokesperson Fred Scaletta says the new facility’s heating and cooling system is acting up. Around 550 of the state’s toughest criminals are housed in the old Iowa State Pen, originally built in 1839. It’s still unclear when they might be moved into the prison, which has room for 800 inmates. Continue Reading


Soon Okay to Burn Leaves in Burlington, WB

If you live in the city of Burlington or West Burlington and your leaves are beginning to pile up, you can start burning them as of 10 o’clock this morning.  

That word from Fire Chiefs Matt Trexel and Mike Heim, respectively, who say you do have to follow the city codes when doing so. All other restrictions imposed by the Des Moines County open burning ban remain in effect til further notice in the rural areas. Gina Hardin with Des Moines County Emergency Management says it’s still very dry out there.  Hardin says the burn ban will remain in effect for at least another week and they’ll discuss what to do after the rain we are supposed to get Thursday. Continue Reading

LeeCo Seat(s) Citizen Committee Gets Supervisors’ Approval

The Lee County Board voted 3-2 yesterday(Tues) to recognize a citizens committee, formed to study the feasibility of one county seat versus two…an issue that’s been debated for decades.  

The panel is the brainchild of Mary Van Pelt, who organized an information meeting last month to talk about the options available. The County Board’s lukewarm blessing gives the committee access to help from the county’s department heads and…in the words of board Chairman Ernie Schiller…to everything it needs. The members of the committee right now are H.B. Calvert…Larry Haynes…Larry Kruse…Bill Smith…John Wright…Dustin Wellman…Pat Marshall…Bob Woodruff…and Van Pelt, who says she hopes to have meetings all over the county, with the first one tentatively scheduled for April 29th, which is next Tuesday.  

For the record, yesterday’s(Tue) vote to recognize the committee was 3-2, with Supervisors Schiller, Ron Fedler and Rick Larkin in support and Matt Pflug(floog) and Gary Folluo(FOH-lee-oh) against the idea. Continue Reading


Picketer Upset with Klein Center

If you drove by the Great River Medical Center today you probably saw a man with a couple picket signs. Paul Ganakes is upset with the Klein Center where his mother is currently staying. His picket signs featured pictures of the 93-year-old woman with black eyes and scratches on her face. Ganakes says this is the second time she’s fallen, and this time no one was around to help her…. We contacted CEO Mark Richardson about the situation. Continue Reading


Parent Upset that WB Allows Teacher to Coach Football for West Central

It’s not too often someone speaks up during the public comments portion at the West Burlington School Board Meetings, but last night one parent expressed a couple concerns. Michelle Murphy first spoke about how she felt it wasn’t right for former head football coach Jeff Housel to keep teaching at West Burlington and coach football for another school… Housel will continue to serve as West Burlington’s Athletic Director but has recently been hired to coach football for West Central High School. Murphy also expressed concern about open enrollment and wants to know if the school plans to hire more teachers to keep up with their increased enrollment… Superintendent Dave Schmitt suggested she make an appointment with him so they can discuss the issues one-on-one. Continue Reading