Neighborhood Group’s Rezoning Petition Turned Down

An effort by residents of the North Hill Neighborhood to change the zoning on a block containing parts of North Street, Fifth Street, Iowa Street, and Sixth Street to single and double family only residences failed during a Tuesday night Planning Commission meeting. The residents brought the issue to the commission due to a single piece of property: 1111 North Fifth Street. Neighbors say that the the property–currently abandoned–has been a nuisance in the past, generating a slew of police reports and even a fatal fire. A previous owner used the property as a 12 person boarding house, a business plan that the neighborhood group doesn’t want repeated. Jesse Caston is the new owner of the building, after purchasing it and 13 other properties in a January bank foreclosure. Continue Reading

Burlington Superintendent: Budget Situation “In Limbo”

Burlington Community School District’s Superintendent says that the school’s current budgetary situation is in limbo right now, but stresses that he expects the school district to be “fine”. Superintendent Pat Coen spoke on the KBUR Talkshow on Wednesday. He says that because legislators in Des Moines haven’t appropriated funds for schools, and are throwing out numbers that vary by billions, there isn’t any telling what the budget will look like. “We have not received any word out of Des Moines as to what our allowable growth–that is, new money coming in–will be,” Coen told KBUR’s Steve Hexom and Rob Sussman. Despite budgetary uncertianty, some things simply can’t wait: like union negotiations. Continue Reading

Man Convicted of Kidnapping Fort Madison Girl in 1979 Dies in Prison

A man who was convicted in a high-profile kidnapping case in southeast Iowa 36 years ago has died in prison. Robert Ray Padgett was 79. The Iowa Department of Corrections reports he was housed in the Iowa State Penitentiary Hospice Care Unit, where he died of natural causes stemming from dementia. Padgett was 43 in 1979 when he was arrested for kidnapping an 11-year-old girl from a dance studio in Fort Madison. Police said Padgett took the girl to a motel in Coralville where she was sexually abused and held captive for two days. Continue Reading

Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks. Courtest: Great River Health Systems

Former Iowa Director of Public Health Joins Great River

The Former Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health is joining the Greater Burlington Community. Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, M.D. has joined Great River Eye Specialists, a clinic for the treatment of eye conditions. A graduate of the University of Texas school of medicine, Dr. Miller-Meeks is a glaucoma specialist who was chosen as the director of the State’s health department in 2010, under Governor Branstad. She’s also a former Army Reservist. Great River Eye Specialists is located in the Eastman Plaza at 1223 South Gear Avenue in West Burlington. Continue Reading

Electrical Fire Damages Mount Pleasant Home

A Mount Pleasant Home was seriously damaged during a Tuesday afternoon fire. Mount Pleasant fire officials say the home at 2484 Iowa Avenue sustained major damage to its second floor and roof area. 22 Firefighters from Mount Pleasant and New London Fire Departments fought the blaze for around three hours after the fire call came in around 7:05. It’s believed the fire began due to an electrical short in the attic. There were no injuries. Continue Reading


Suicidal Woman Rescued After Jumping Off Great River Bridge

A dramatic scene in downtown Burlington last night as Burlington Police and Fire Rescue Teams worked to pull a suicidal woman out of the Mississippi River after she jumped off the Great River Bridge. Lt. Adam Schaefer with the Burlington Police Department says that the 46 year old woman, who hasn’t been identified, was reported as suicidal around 9:30 last night. She was spotted by law enforcement in the middle of the river, yelling for help. Resue efforts immediately began. The woman was cooperative with rescuers, and was able to drift to shore on her own before being pulled out just south of Memorial Auditorium. Continue Reading

Trumaine Hatchett. Courtesy: Henry County Jail

Mount Pleasant Man Charged With Attempted Murder After Shooting at Car

A Mount Pleasant Man is in jail after allegedly shooting at a passing car. 29 year old Trumaine Hatchett is facing charges of Attempted Murder and Intimidation with a Dangerous Weapon among other charges. Police say Hatchett shot at a pickup truck driven by 33 year old Corey Robinson of Mount Pleasant on Monday evening at the Chesapeake Apartment Complex at 800 N. Palm Street. Upon arriving at the scene, Mount Pleasant Police Officers found broken motor vehicle glass and empty shell casings in a driveway leading out of the parking lot. Robinson’s truck was struck by several bullets, but Robinson himself was uninjured. Continue Reading

Fire Risk High Today, Says National Weather Service

Fire risk is especially high today throughout the listening area, according to the National Weather Service. Warmer tempuratures combined with a lack of precipitation and gusty winds means that any outdoor fire can easily blow out of control. Burlington Fire Chief Matt Trexel urges residents to be careful. “We urge people not to light any fires when it’s windy, dry, and warm, like it is right now,” Trexel told KBUR. The greatest fire danger will be between 1pm and 7pm Tuesday. Continue Reading