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RV Destroyed in Fire at Carthage Lake

An RV Fire at Carthage Lake Club in Illinois caused an impressive plume of smoke that could be seen all the way in Burlington on Tuesday. Burlington Firefighters were actually the first one on the scene of the fire at around 6:21 am. Upon arrival they found a fully engulfed RV burning dangerously close to a raised, stilted house on Carthage Lake Club Road. Flames were shooting up to 20 yards from the RV, threatening to catch the home on fire. The RV was completely destroyed. Continue Reading

The council chambers were completely filled for the rezoning hearing.

North Hill Petitioners Lose Zoning Battle

A single block of in the North Hill Neighborhood will not be rezoned following a split decision by the Burlington City Council. The petition to rezone the block containing 1111 North 5th Street from multi-family residential to single-family residential was first brought to the Council’s attention when the issue came in front of the Zoning Board of Adjustments in March, who unanimously denied the petition. Neighbors signed the petition specifically to target 1111 North 5th, which was previously used as an 11 unit boarding house. Under a previous owner, the property was a nuisance in the neighborhood, a den of drugs, crime, and uncleanliness. Ed Russell used to own the home next door, raising his children there. Continue Reading

Yarmouth Café Fire Was Arson, Sheriff’s Officials Say

The Des Moines County Sheriffs Department is bringing their investigation of the Yarmouth Café fire to a close–they’ve determined it was intentionally set. Mediapolis News reports that video evidence reportedly found at the scene has revealed key evidence in the blaze that gutted the inside of the Café on March 24. “I can’t comment on the video evidence, but we have determined the fire was intentionally set,” said Des Moines County Sheriff Mike Johnstone. This comes as Yarmouth Café owner Delight Lebert was found dead in a garage at her home. According to the Louisa County Sherriff’s Department, the department received a call Friday at 12:54 p.m. from a John Kuisle who requested medical attention for Lebert. Continue Reading

Maurice Green. Courtesy: Knox County Jail

Bond Set at $2 Million for Alleged Jefferson Street Shooter

Maurice Green appeared on video feed before the judge in the Des Moines County Courthouse on Tuesday, his first hearing since being charged for the Wednesday murder of 28 year old Matthew Banks. It was the first thing on the agenda for the 45 year old Green since waiving extradition from Galesburg, Illinois. He fled there shortly after Banks was shot three times at a home on Jefferson Street in Burlington and was captured several hours after the murder. Green’s bond was set at $2 million. Police say that Green allegedly shot Banks when he lost $1,600 during a dice gambling game. Continue Reading

Iowa DOT to Spend $700m on Roads This Year

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Transportation says it plans to spend a record $700 million on construction on state and interstate highway projects this year. The Des Moines Register reports the department spent $656 million on road projects in 2014. A 10-cent-per-gallon tax gasoline tax increase, which took effect March 1, will provide about $200 million annually to cities and counties across the state. There are statewide plans to fill potholes, repair aging bridges and install new concrete and asphalt pavement. Officials say that up to 500 work zones will be set up statewide from now until the end of the road construction season in November. Continue Reading

Monmouth Jr. High Teacher Solicited 15 Year Old Boy For Sex, Police Say

A Monmouth-Roseville Junior High School teacher was arrested this month on charges of Indecent Solicitation of a Child–a class two felony. Sister Station WGIL in Galesburg reports the Warren County Sheriff’s Department arrested 39-year-old Jennifer R. Rexroat of Monmouth on a warrant on April 12th, at the Ayerco Convience Store in Monmouth. Rexroat allegedly solicited a male, 15-year-old junior high school student for engagement in oral sex. Authorities are continuing to investigate into the situation. If convicted, Rexroat could face a sentence of three to seven years in prison, with a fine of up to $25,000. Continue Reading

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Man Shot Sunday Was Attending Party For Victim of Wednesday Murder

One thing leads to another. The man shot at a home at 553 S. 10th Street in Burlington was attending a party in memory of 28 year old Matthew Banks, who was shot and killed just days beforehand, police say. The victim has been identified by police as 35 year old Roderick Johnson, of Burlington. Johnson was shot once in the stomach, and was taken to Great River Medical Center before being airlifted to Iowa City for treatment of serious, but not life threatening injuries. Police found Johnson after responding to a report of shots fired and people running from the home at around 1:25 am–almost the same time that Banks was shot last Wednesday. Continue Reading

Many Workers Return to Fertilizer Plant After Layoffs

Workers are expected to return today to the Iowa Fertilizer plant after a two day work stoppage caused by one of the projects major contractors pulling out of the project, causing hundreds of layoffs. AECOM-URS, a multinational contracting company, pulled out of the $1.9 billion project due to an undisclosed dispute between AECOM-URS and OCI Iowa Fertilizer on Friday. Around 2,400 employees were laid off Friday. Iowa Fertilizer Spokesman Alex Shaner says that AECOM-URS will be switched out with another contractor who will rehire many of the laid off employees. AECOM-URS declined to comment. Continue Reading