Dakota Access Pipeline Company Says They Have 60 Percent of the Easements Needed For Construction

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A company seeking to build an oil pipeline across Iowa says it has purchased easements from nearly 60 percent of landowners, but some don’t believe the claim. The Des Moines Register reports that activists say online records show far fewer easement purchases. A spokeswoman for Dakota Access LLC, a unit of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, stresses that the number of easements changes daily as agreements are signed. She says the company’s count is based on the number of signed agreements, not on those that have been filed. The company is seeking permission from the state to construct the pipeline, which would transport oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a distribution center in Illinois. Continue Reading

South Dakota Woman Killed in Mount Pleasant Crash

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a 48-year-old South Dakota woman has been killed in a southeast Iowa highway crash. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that the accident occurred around 2 p.m. Saturday on eastbound U.S. Highway 34 in Mount Pleasant. The crash report says 15-year-old Eva White was driving a minivan when she lost control of it and it rolled after entering roadside ditch. The Iowa State Patrol says passenger Sarah White-Young was pronounced dead at the scene. Eva White and a 10-year-old passenger were taken to a Mount Pleasant hospital. Continue Reading

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Storms Sweep Upper Midwest, Burlington Spared

Burlington was spared the worst of the storms that moved across the Upper Midwest last night, but some communities were not so lucky. Last nights storm cause devastation across the region, blowing over fertilizer tanks in South Dakota, collapsing buildings in Michigan, and causing downed trees and power lines everywhere it went. The storm produced at least two confirmed tornadoes, one in Northern Illinois, the other in Michigan. Straight-line wind gusts of 95 miles per hour were recorded in Sheldon. At least six people were injured during the storm outbreak. Continue Reading

Maurice Green. Courtesy: Knox County Jail

Murder Suspect’s Motion to Visit with His Children Denied by Judge

The man accused of shooting another man to death over a game of dice will not be allowed to see his children in jail after a court struck down his visitation motion. District Court Judge John Wright denied the motion, filed pro se by 43 year old Maurice Green, after hearing testimony from Des Moines County Jail Administrator Doug Ervine. Ervine told the court that it would be a violation of federal law to allow those under the age of 18 to enter the jail, and that exceptions have never been made at the Des Moines County Jail. Green’s attorney, Phil Ramirez, argued that allowing Green visitation rights would “quell the chaos” in Green’s family home. Judge Wright said that he doesn’t believe there is any more chaos in his home than that of someone else charged with a crime. Continue Reading

Case Backhoes, made right here in Burlington, Parade through downtown during the Steamboat Days Parade.

Storms Can’t Spoil Weekend Fun

Storms couldn’t put a damper on a fun weekend in Burlington, but that doesn’t mean that Saturday’s storms didn’t try their hardest to ruin one of the biggest weekends of the year. Extremely strong weekend storms forced the cancellation of the Three Days Grace performance at Burlington Steamboat Days after rain caused serious damage to the sound equipment, forcing organizers to cancel all Saturday night entertainment. The rest of Steamboat Days went off without a hitch. The “Red Rocker” Sammy Hagar performed on Friday night and The Band Perry played the main stage on Sunday to close out the annual event’s 53rd year. The Steamboat Days Parade rolled through downtown on Saturday as expected, the Burlington Relay for Life float came in first place in the float contest, Faith Festival’s chapel-themed float took second and the float from the Des Moines County Fair took third. Continue Reading

Photo from Gofundme.com

National Weather Service: Saturday Storms Produce Two Tornados, Two Injured

Two people were injured when an EF-1 Tornado touched down near New London on Saturday. The National Weather Service says that the Tornado caused a mobile home to roll over, injuring its two occupants. That tornado touched down around 5 miles southeast of Mount Pleasant and ended 3 miles southwest of New London. Friends of the two injured in the Tornado, Chad Simmons and Kelley Hunter, have set up a website where people can donate to help them rebuild. The couple lost everything in the tornado. Continue Reading

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Storms Force Three Days Grace to Cancel Steamboat Days Appearance

Steamboat Days President Kurt Wooldridge says that the strong storms that moved through the area on Saturday night caused serious damage to the sound equipment at Steamboat Days, forcing organizers to cancel all Saturday night entertainment. Three Days Grace, a mainstream rock band, was scheduled to start playing at 8:00pm. The cancellation was announced at 9:00pm. Storms with reported straight-line winds up to 70 mph blew through Southeast Iowa and Western Illinois on Saturday night, downing trees and power lines and knocking out power throughout much of the area. Continue Reading

Lee County Sheriff Warns of Chip-Sealing Scam

A group of men claiming to be legitimate chip-sealers are working to defraud Lee County Customers, according to the Lee County Sheriff. Sheriff Jim Sholl said in a Friday news release that the group was last seen in the Franklin area, driving a flatbed truck of an unknown make and model and a newer red dump truck. The group allegedly offers customers a reduced rate to seal coat their driveways using “extra product” from another job. The product offered is apparently sub par and only a thin coating is applied. During the last reported encounter, the potential victim told the alleged scammers he wasn’t interested, and the group took off in a hurry. Continue Reading

Orascom Plant

IEDA Green-Lights More Tax Breaks for Orascom Fertilizer Plant

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A state board has approved $25 million in extra tax breaks for a company building a giant fertilizer plant in Wever. The Quad-City Times reports the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board on Friday approved the tax breaks for the Lee County plant after the Iowa Fertilizer Company pledged to add 11 more jobs. The project’s total cost now totals $1.9 billion, and it will employ 180 people. According to board documents, approval of the request brings the total amount of tax benefits the state has provided to the company to $107.5 million. The construction of the plant near Wever is one of the largest economic development projects in state history. Continue Reading