Update on Old JCPenny Building on Jefferson Street

A downtown building that has sat empty for 37 years is in the process of being transformed. Steve Frevert with Downtown Partners gave us an update on the renovation of the old JCPenny building that sits at 520 Jefferson Street… Frevert says it may become a new downtown restaurant… New windows will also be put in. They hope to have them installed before the Snake Alley Criterium. Continue Reading


Mini Riot on South Hill in Burlington

Police say two females were beaten by two males late yesterday afternoon on Burlington’s south side, and the assaults led to a mini crime wave and a large crowd gathering on Maple and South 9th Streets.  

City police are still trying to sort things out, but Sergeant Chad Zahn says what is known is that following the attacks, someone shot out a car window with what appeared to be a B.B. or pellet gun. After that, two houses in the neighborhood were vandalized, apparently in retaliation. Zahn says at its peak, the crowd numbered about 30 people, most of them watching what was going on. The initial call came in shortly before 4:30 yesterday afternoon and police continue their investigation. Continue Reading

Garrett Brockway Baseball Clinic this Saturday

Local boys and girls will learn about baseball from the pro’s this Saturday. The Burlington Bee’s are hosting their 2nd Annual Garrett Brockway Baseball Clinic. Garrett’s dad, Bruce Brockway, says he and his son attended these camps and always had a lot of fun… Manager of the Bees, Bill Richardson says they’ll have several stations set up around the ball park for the kids… The clinic is $25 for boys and girls ages 7-14. Continue Reading


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

The new prison's interior

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