Clockwise from top: Lonnie Jones, Brandon Garrels, Matthew McDowell, James Corder. Courtesy: Henry County Sheriff's Department

Former Mount Pleasant High School Janitor Sold Meth Out of High School Parking Lot, Police Say

A former employee at Mount Pleasant High School is in jail after a police investigation revealed that he was allegedly selling methamphetamine out of the high school parking lot during his employment. 43 year old Lonnie Jones was arrested after a search warrant was executed at 808 Washington Street in Mount Pleasant. Jones was employed as a custodian at Mount Pleasant High School until earlier this month, when the allegations were revealed. Police say that Jones only sold the drugs to non-students. Jones is charged with conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, and serious misdemenor possession of marijuana. Continue Reading

Illinois State Police Troopers, armed with assault rifles and bulletproof vests, guard the perimeter of Dallas City Elementary School on Thursday.

Intruder Alarm Triggers Lockdown, Evacuation at Dallas City Elementary School

A report of an intruder triggered a massive police response, full scale evacuation, and a lockdown at Dallas City Elementary School in Dallas City, Illinois. Pam Tate, a reading volunteer at the school, was inside the building when the intruder alarm was signaled at around 9:15 am. “Over the loudspeaker they said ‘[intruder] in the school, lockdown’,” Tate told KBUR, “Once we got the kids all in one section [of the room] close to one of the windows, so that they could get out if they had to, the teacher barred all of the doors…and the kids each got one item, so that if something happened they could throw it at the intruder.” Students were evacuated from the school, escorted in groups by policemen armed with assault rifles and bulletproof vests. Students were loaded from the school onto buses, holding their hands in the air as they approached. Continue Reading

Bagged Leaf Collection Proposal Shot Down by West Burlington City Council

A proposal to begin a bagged leaf collection service in West Burlington was voted down last night after about a dozen residents filled City Hall to pressure the City Council against the idea. The council was considering replacing the old leaf-dumping site, formerly located at the old public works building, with a twice-a-week leaf collection service, where residents would bag up leaves and grass trimmings and city crews would come by and collect them. That proposal was favored by Mayor Hans Trousil, who was concerned, based on a survey of residents conducted last year, that residents did not want to pay to build a new leaf dumping site at the new Public Works Building. But residents, such as Williard Jackson, showed up in force, and they weren’t happy. “If you can’t find a little spot out there to put our leaves, I think you’re pretty poor,” said Jackson, “If we can subsidize the pool to make it work every year, then by God, we should have a place to dump our leaves. Continue Reading

Stove Fire Damages Burlington Home

An accidental stove fire damaged a Burlington home yesterday evening. Just after 8:00pm, Burlington firefighters responded to a report of a stove fire at 314 S. 7th Street in Burlington. Upon arrival, they found flames shooting out of the homes kitchen window. Firefighters managed to enter the house and quickly extinguish the fire, which was contained to the kitchen. Homeowner Richard Wixom discovered the fire upon returning home and attempted to put it out before firemen arrived. Continue Reading

Fort Madison Prison Could be Open by Late Summer

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The head of a government oversight committee says the new, yet empty, Fort Madison prison could finally open in late summer or early fall this year, though inmates assigned to a psychiatric ward may be housed in another facility until certain building repairs are finished. Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee, told lawmakers Wednesday that the new timetable comes from the state Department of Corrections. He added the prison’s mental health ward is located in a building with design problems, so inmates could be placed temporarily at a state facility in Johnson County. The prison was scheduled to open in March 2014 but has been delayed by problems involving a geothermal system and an air ventilation system, among others. Kaufmann says lingering issues are being fixed. Continue Reading

Jury Selection Finishes in August Bicyclist Murder

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Jury selection has finished in the trial of a man accused of gunning down a Burlington bicyclist in August. About 55 potential jurors remained for questioning Wednesday in the trial of 39-year-old Joshua Royer, of Burlington. He is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 50-year-old Eddie Martin Cooper. Police say Royer shot Cooper several times on Aug. 6 as Cooper was riding his bike. Continue Reading

Maurice Green. Courtesy: Knox County Jail

Arrest Made in Illinois; Victim Identified in Fatal Wednesday Shooting

An arrest has been made and the victim identified in an early Wednesday shooting that killed a Burlington man. 28 year old Matthew Quinton Banks was shot multiple times at a house at 1204 Jefferson Street at around 1:23am yesterday Morning. Arrested and charged with first-degree murder is 43 year old Maurice Green, also of Burlington. Green was arrested after fleeing to Galesburg, Illinois. He remains in the Knox County Jail awaiting extridition to Iowa. Continue Reading

Burlington School Board Submits Budget Despite Des Moines Gridlock

The Burlington School Board is expressing frustration over a lack of compromise in Des Moines regarding school funding in the state. Republican and Democrats in the State Legislature are still sparring over how much more money to allocate to schools this year than last lear, with Democrats proposing a 4% increase and Republicans sticking tight to a 1.25% increase in allowable growth. That battle is leaving school districts in a tough position, Wednesday is the deadline for schools to get their budgets in to the Iowa Department of Education, and many districts have had to submit budgets that aren’t very precise on how much money they’re going to have in the coming fiscal year. The Burlington School District has submitted a budget that includes a .97 cents per $1000 assessed valuation tax Hike, but Superintendent Pat Coen says that number will decrease as the state legislature adjusts the budget to fit allowable growth, once a decision is made in the statehouse. Coen says that the 1.25% increase proposed by Republicans really isn’t enough, at least for Burlington, but theres some question as to whether or not the Democrats proposal would be enough, either. Continue Reading

Federal Taxes Due Tonight

Federal tax returns are due by midnight tonight (Wednesday) and officials with the Internal Revenue Service expect more than 57-thousand Iowans will be requesting an extension this year. I-R-S spokesman Bill Brunson says you can go the antiquated route, using a paper form that needs to be postmarked before midnight, or speed up the process with a few clicks on the agency’s website at IRS.gov. Continue Reading