Mount Pleasant Man Facing Charges After Sexual Assault of 13 Year Old

A Mount Pleasant Man is in jail after police say he sexually assaulted a 13 year old. 20 year old Clayton Titus was arrested by Mount Pleasant Police yesterday after a search warrant was executed on his apartment at 709 South Main Street. Police say that they seized undisclosed items and evidence linked to the assault at that apartment. Titus is charged with 3rd Degree Sexual Abuse, a felony. The investigation is still ongoing. Continue Reading

Police inspect the damaged truck on Thursday, May 7th.

Iowa DOT Official: Support Girder Damaged When Truck Hit Overpass, Will Be Replaced

Iowa DOT Officials say that the damage done to the overpass carrying US Highway 34 through downtown Burlington to the Great River Bridge has damaged a support girder beyond repair. Norm McDonald, an engineer with the Iowa Department of Transportation, says that exit ramp 263 into Downtown Burlington will remain closed until a local contractor is hired to reinforce the damaged girder until a permanent replacement is purchased and installed. McDonald did not have an exact timeline on when the girder would be reinforced, saying that they hoped to get it done as soon as possible. The exit ramp has been closed since May 7th, when a truck pulling a car ramp struck the side of the US-34 overpass. The strike dented the side of the overpass, which had just been painted and repaired in April. Continue Reading

Orascom Plant

Iowa Fertilizer President Defends Hiring Practices at Wever Plant

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials overseeing construction of a $1.8 billion fertilizer plant in southeast Iowa are defending their hiring practices amid criticism from labor leaders. The Iowa Economic Development Authority says in a Tuesday release that Iowa Fertilizer President Shawn Rana met with labor leaders Friday. Rana argued the company hired many local construction workers at the Wever plant site, noting a main on-site employer is an Iowa-based union contractor. Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham organized the meeting between Rana and labor leaders, many of whom represent union workers, following a Capitol meeting where union organizers claimed plant officials were trying to hire workers outside of the region following layoffs in April. Southeast Iowa Building and Construction Trades Council President Ryan Drew says he looks forward to continued communication with Iowa Fertilizer. Continue Reading

MHI Placement Still Difficult, DHS Director Says

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The head of the Iowa agency overseeing the proposed closings of two state mental health facilities says officials are still finding placements for some long-term patients. Charles Palmer, director of the Iowa Department of Human Services, says up to six patients in a specialized unit for the elderly at the facility in Clarinda may not have placements by June. Gov. Terry Branstad removed funding in his budget for facilities in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant. He supports a proposal by some Republican lawmakers to keep them open through December, but it’s unclear what support the measure will get from others. Janice Scalise told lawmakers Monday her 63-year-old sister at Clarinda has yet to be placed and DHS officials have been unclear about the process. Continue Reading

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Roundabout Plans Detailed at Work Session

The Burlington City Council is expected to move forward with a plan to install a roundabout to replace the intersection of West Avenue and West Burlington Avenue after the measure was discussed at a Monday night work session. The roundabout is part of $1.7 million in improvements to the roads surrounding the proposed Silgan Containers location in the Flint Ridge Business Park on Division Street. Public Works Director Steve Hoambrecker says that roundabout intersections are safer and will ultimately prove popular. “There’s a 37% overall reduction in collisions…vehicle delays are usually reduced between 64% and 72%…I think that when people learn to navigate it the conclusion they’ll get will lead them to ask, ‘When are we going to get one on Division Street?'” Hoambrecker said. French-Reneker-Associates will be tapped for engineering and design services on that project. Continue Reading

Christopher King. Courtesy: Des Moines County Sheriff's Department

Dozens of Additional Victims Come Forward in King Molestation Case

Burlington Police now say that the investigation into the case of an ex-Burlington City Councilman accused of sexually molesting young girls now includes “several dozen” victims in at least three states, stretching back at least 10 years. Burlington Police Lt. Jeff Klein says that interviews with potential victims have been booked throughout the entire week, with more and more alleged victims coming forward each day–all of them telling just about the same story: that 40 year old Chris King either sexually molested or attempted to sexually molest them by luring them on social media and providing them with alcohol after meeting them in a professional capacity. Many of the victims were customers of King’s photography studio, Daisy Frames Photography in Downtown Burlington. Some victims say that King even attempted to give them money to have sex with him–if they refused, police say he would attempt to rape them. King has so far only been charged with the molestation of four victims, but Klein says that several more charges are on the way as they interview victims stretching back to around 2005, shortly after he left the city council. Continue Reading

Fort Madison Main Street BBQ a Success

If you were in Downtown Fort Madison over the weekend, you may have noticed a particular smell…that smell was grilled meat–and a lot of it. It was the 14th Annual Main Street BBQ Cookout Competition, sponsored by Faeth’s Sporting Goods in Downtown Fort Madison. 13 Grill Teams and over 450 food enthusiasts descended upon the Downtown area to devour Chicken, Beef, Pork, Kansas City BBQ Ribs, and whatever else the seasoned grill meisters felt like cooking up. Tina Faeth says it started out just so people could have something to do on a Saturday. “It started out as a brainstorm from a couple of our customers,” Faeth told KBUR, “Something to do on a saturday when business is slow, and they decided on a barbeque.” Continue Reading

Branstad Priorities Still Unresolved

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two of Gov. Terry Branstad’s key priorities remain unresolved as the Iowa Legislature winds down this session. Branstad announced in January that he wanted lawmakers to update Iowa’s anti-bullying law and pass legislation to expand high-speed Internet. The Senate approved an anti-bullying bill but it remains in limbo in the House. A broadband bill passed in the House but it’s still making its way through the Senate. Time is running out to advance the bills. Continue Reading

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Montrose Landowner Alleges Pipeline Agent Offered Prostitute in Return for Land Rights

A landowner from Montrose says he has recorded proof that a land agent for the proposed Bakken Pipeline offered to get him an 18-year-old prostitute if he’d grant access rights to his property so the pipeline may pass through. The company has not yet responded to the allegations. Hughie Tweedy of Montrose says he recorded two of his conversations with the land agent. “On these recordings you will hear evidence of my senior pipeline representative offering me not once, not twice, but three times the sexual services of a woman,” Tweedy said, “the last time being a $1200 teenage prostitute.” Tweedy held a news conference on the steps of the statehouse Monday to make the allegations. Continue Reading