The Fort Madison State Prison. Courtesy: Fort Madison Prison Memory Project

Lockdown Still In Place Following Fort Madison Prison Escape

Inmates at the maximum-security prison in Fort Madison are still on a tight security lockdown following an escape three weeks ago. Inmates at the Iowa State Penitentiary remain on restricted movement status, which means they are confined to their cells for the vast majority of the time. Prison officials imposed the lockdown July 5, after inmate Justin Kestner escaped from one of the state’s highest-security cells. He was captured several hours later in Illinois. The 25 year old Kestner had removed the screws from an access cover to a pipe chase in the cell shower and subsequently maneuvered up the chase and through a vent to the roof. Continue Reading

Truck Spills Around 100 Gallons of Oil in Burlington

A small oil spill caused headaches for drivers and cleanup crews Monday in Burlington when a truck hauling used motor oil spilled around 100 gallons onto the road near Highway 61 and Mount Pleasant Avenue. Burlington Fire Officials say that one of the containers failed on its top right corner, causing the oil to spill on the road. The truck is owned by Roth Trucking. Burlington Fire Department crews, Iowa Department of Transportation Officials, Des Moines County Secondary Roads Crews, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources spent around two hours and used 29 oil dry bags to clean up the spill. The incident occured at around 9:48 am. Continue Reading

Des Moines County Attorney’s Office to Expand

The Des Moines County Attorney’s Office will be expanding the space in their current downtown Burlington location. The office will take advantage of 2,030 square feet of unused space adjacent to the current offices in the US Bank Building downtown. Des Moines County Attorney Amy Beavers says that the space will mostly be used to expand the victim services division. “The space we’re currently in really wasn’t meant for us to be there permanently, [but] it’s great space,” Beavers said, “When we moved in there, it was very tight. Our victim services division is extremely tight, I’d like more space there to better serve our victims. Right now we only have a little circle table right in our reception area…it’s not a private space.” Continue Reading

Bracewell Stadium

Officials Looking at Zoning, Sign Codes to Keep Bracewell Stadium Sign Legal

Burlington officials are still looking for a way to fully legalize a sign on the newly-renovated Bracewell Stadium Property that is currently out of compliance. The city council is already likely to change the stadium’s zoning area to C-1 commercial zoning from R-4 residential in order to allow the sign, which bears an advertisement for Universal Therapy and is considered a billboard. But Mayor Shane McCampbell and Councilman Bob Fleming said during a Monday night Work Session that they were concerned that changing the sign code to allow sponsored signs with no other requirements would lead to a huge number of billboards popping up all over town. “Inside the stadium, you can put signs all over the place, but when you put it on school property, there is something about that that bothers me,” said Fleming. To get around that issue, Councilman Tim Scott proposed creating a new zone specifically for institutions like schools and other public buildings. Continue Reading

Carly Fiorina mingles with voters.

2016 Candidate Carly Fiorina Looks to Stand Out from the Crowd

Republicans in Lee County gathered on Saturday to hear from one of the 16 Republicans hoping to become the next President of the United States. Former HP Tech Executive and Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina joined Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds to headline the 2016 Lee County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner. Fiorina is the only female candidate on the Republican side of the aisle. A former tech executive and advisor to the CIA, she hopes her outsider status will help her stand out in the polls. “I’ve been standing out since I started. Continue Reading

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Suspicious Activity Report Turns into Meth Investigation

A report of suspicious activity led Burlington Police to a one-pot meth lab operation on Friday. Officers were initially dispatched to the 100 block of Front Street in response to a complaint of three unknown individuals entering and exiting a building near the riverfront, and that two of the individuals just left in a vehicle. Upon arrival, officers found and arrested 57 year old Larry Dwight Andries, who was in possession of a one-pot “Shake and Bake” style meth lab. Southeast Iowa Narcotics Task Force personnel were able to neutralize the lab. Andries is charged with Manufacture and Possession of Methamphetamine, both felonies. Continue Reading

Lee Co. Republicans to Host Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, 2016 Candidate Carly Fiorina

Lee County Republicans will be hosting two prominent female politicians during their gathering Saturday at the Comfort Inn and Suites. Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and 2016 presidential hopeful and former HP executive Carly Fiorina will speak at 6:00pm Saturday to a gathering of Republicans with the Lee County GOP. Tickets for the dinner are $25. They can be purchased at leecountyrepublicans.org. Continue Reading

Branstad Leads Meeting on Security at Military Facilities

Governor Terry Branstad led a meeting Thursday in Washington, D.C. with seven other governors and a top Pentagon official. “We had a moment of silence for the five service members who were killed in Chattanooga,” Branstad says. “And then I brought up the issue about security for military personnel and we had a good discussion about that.” On Wednesday Branstad authorized any additional security measures the head of the Iowa National Guard might believe are necessary for Guard facilities in Iowa. Branstad is co-chair of a council of governors that advises the Pentagon on issues related to the state guard units around the country. Continue Reading

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Elderly Burlington Man Rescued After Jumping From Great River Bridge

An elderly Burlington man was rescued from the Mississippi River Thursday after apparently jumping from the Great River Bridge. Henderson County Sheriff Steven Haynes says in a news release that at around 8:23 am, a report of a male jumping off of the Great River Bridge near the Gulfport exit was received by the Sheriff’s Department. Minutes earlier, Des Moines County Dispatch received a 911 call reporting that an elderly man was sitting on the edge of the bridge, holding on to a light pole. Rescue boats from the Burlington Fire Department were launched and within a few minutes an 84 year old man was pulled from the river and taken to Great River Medical Center, where he is currently listed in very critical condition. Continue Reading