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

Local Photography Studio Owner, Ex-Councilman Arrested; Allegedly Sexually Abused Customers

The owner of a local photography studio was arrested Wednesday after police say he sexually molested several teenage customers. 40 year old Christopher Lee King, the owner of Daisy Frames Photography Studios in Downtown Burlington, is facing two charges of Sexual Abuse in the 3rd degree, and three counts of Providing Alcohol to a Minor. Several parents contacted Burlington Police in February, concerned that King had sexually abused their teenage daughters. Police say that King, on multiple occasions, contacted teenage customers through social media following their initial sitting, offering them “discounts” on their photo sessions if they came to the studio to “assist” King. King would then, allegedly, provide the teenage girls with alcoholic beverages and drive to locations in rural Des Moines county, where according to police, he would expose his genitalia, fondle the victims and force them to “play” sexually oriented games. Continue Reading

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Century Link Still Battling Service Outage

A third party contractor working on utilities in Burlington accidentally cut a fiber optic line owned by Century Link yesterday, affecting phone and internet services across Southeast Iowa. David Slinker is a spokesman for Century Link, he says that a large number of customers are still having issues with their service. “Currently we have telephone lines, some cellphones, and some internet services in the areas around Burlington, Fort Madison, and Keokuk that have been affected,” Slinker told KBUR, “Our technicians have isolated where that problem is and are working on-site to restore services.” The outage originally affected several key services, including the 911 dispatch center in Lee County and Great River Medical Center. Problems with emergency services have since been resolved. Continue Reading

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Some Phone Issues Continue Following Widespread Century Link Outage

UPDATE 10:00am: Crews are working on repairing remaining damage and additional crews have been called in. Estimated repair time is 5:00pm. Phone issues affected 911 services in the area along with residential phone and internet connections after a fiber optic cable was damaged in Burlington. No word yet on exactly how the damage took place or where the damaged cable was located. The outage affected several key services, including the 911 dispatch center in Lee County and Great River Medical Center. Continue Reading

Chicken Coop

Bird Flu Already Having Economic, Logistic Effects Across the State

Even with the Bird Flu spreading throughout the Northwest part of Iowa at a blistering pace, Southeast Iowans may not be aware of how the disease is already affecting them. While no farms in the area have reported any sign of the H5N2 infection and no humans have been infected anywhere in the country, the economic and logistic effects of the virus are already being felt.

On Monday, the Burlington Eagles lodge had to cancel their “Drummies and Fries” dinner: due to a lack of chicken drumsticks, caused by the bird flu. Poultry and egg shortages are expected throughout not just Iowa, but the entire country as 19 million birds, both turkeys and chickens, in Iowa alone will be culled in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Yes. That’s 19 million. Continue Reading

Ideal Weather Allows Farmers to Get Jump Start on Planting

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Ideal weather last week enabled Iowa farmers to make progress planting their corn and soybean crops. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says as of Sunday, farmers had planted 68 percent of the state’s corn crop and 11 percent of the soybean crop. Both figures are better than the five-year average. The USDA says 84 percent of farmland had adequate topsoil moisture, with 11 percent short and 5 percent in surplus. Farmers reported 82 percent of subsoil moisture was adequate. Continue Reading

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State Settles Part of Financial Dispute With Fort Madison Prison Contractor

The state has settled part of the financial dispute over the rising costs of the new-but-not-yet-opened maximum security prison in Fort Madison. The main contractor submitted a claim for 18-million dollars in December of 2013 to cover the expense of fixing problems at the prison. A professional mediator was hired and the final agreement calls for the state to pay about 40 percent of what Walsh Construction originally requested. On Monday afternoon, the State Appeals Board approved the seven-million-dollar settlement. Department of Management director Dave Roederer calls it “a fair conclusion to a bad situation.” Continue Reading

Orascom Plant

Iowa Economic Development Authority Director to Investigate Fertilizer Plant Layoffs

The director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority is offering to be a go-between to find out more about the hundreds of layoffs at the Iowa Fertilizer Plant construction site in southeast Iowa. Debi Durham met with a dozen union leaders and a handful of Democratic senators late Monday afternoon at the statehouse. “I will be the honest broker here,” Durham said. “I will go to the company and say: ‘There’s a lot of unrest. There’s a lot of misinformation.’ Continue Reading

A BHS flag grabber hoists his championship belt up high after winning the Dragon Boat Races on Sunday.

Burlington Team Takes Dragon Boat Racing Belt

A fundraiser like no other took place for the 27th time over the weekend during the annual Dragon Boat Races on Lake Geode. Teams from Burlington High School, West Burlington High School and Notre Dame High School crammed into dragon-shaped longboats and raced down the lake to grab a flag on the other end before the other team. A Burlington High School Team, “It’s Aboat Time” beat out the team from West Burlington and a team comprised of BHS Staff to win it all. Landon Summers was that team’s captain. “Feels great [to win], It’s a great honor and back-to-back wins for us. Continue Reading