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Rockford, IL Man Tapped for West Burlington Fire Chief Position

West Burlington has found the man they want as fire chief. The West Burlington City Council extended a conditional offer of employment to Andrew Pieri during a Wednesday night city council meeting. Pieri currently works as the Planning and Building inspector in Rockford, Illinois. West Burlington Mayor Hans Trousil says that Pieri was picked over two in-house candidates due to his building inspection experience, as the fire chief position in West Burlington doubles as the building inspector. If he accepts the offer, Pieri will step into the shoes left by the late Mike Heim, who passed away unexpectedly in March after five years on the job. Continue Reading

US District Attorney Could Take Up Autumn Steele Case

Federal officials might be looking in to the accidental January police shooting that killed a 34 year old woman in Burlington. In a response to a letter penned by Gina Colbert, the mother of Autumn Steele, US Senator Grassley writes that he’s forwarded information about the case to the US Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, Nicholas Klinefeldt. It’s not known whether or not Klinefeldt will take up the case. Steele was shot on January 6th when Burlington Police Officer Jesse Hill was responding to a domestic dispute between Steele and her husband when the couples dog apparently attacked Hill. While attempting to shoot the dog with his firearm, Hill slipped on the snow, accidentally firing and hitting Steele in the chest. Continue Reading

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Suspect in Custody, Victim Safe As Burlington Police Defuse Hostage Situation

Burlington Police defused a hostage situation last night in the 100 block of South 7th Street, and now a 40 year old man is in custody. Burlington Police Lt. Adam Schaefer says in a news release that officers received a call at around 11:25 pm last night that an adult male was holding a juvenile hostage at knifepoint on the second floor of the residence. Officers arrived and after several minutes of communicating with Jody Michael Hummer, managed to take him into custody after persuading him to throw the knife away. Hummer is charged with False Imprisonment and Possession of a Controlled Substance. The juvenile sustained minor, non-life threatening injuries during the incident. Continue Reading

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Burlington Mayor: “Temporary” Memorials to Crime Victims Should Be Limited

Burlington Mayor Shane McCampbell says that long-standing “temporary” memorials to crime victims–while OK in the short term, are creating problems in the long term for members in the community. McCampbell spoke during a Monday city council meeting, referencing one such temporary memorial in the South Hill Neighborhood. “It’s not fair to the family who has to move all that stuff to cut the grass.” McCampbell said, “And I just don’t want to [see reminders all] through town that a crime was committed there. To be respectful, I think that, yes, if someone wants to do that, we should put a limit on it.” Continue Reading

Derek Westwater. Courtesy: Lee Co. Narcotics Taskforce

Keokuk Man Facing 185 Years in Prison on Meth Charges

A Keokuk man could be facing the rest of his natural life in prison if convicted on meth charges. The Lee County narcotics Task Force says that 30 year old Derek Alexander Westwater was arrested Tuesday in the 300 Block of Main Street after a Keokuk Police Officer was attempting to serve an arrest warrant on Westwater. Once Westwater was in custody, items related to methamphetamine production and distribution were discovered. Westwater is charged with Manufacture of Methamphetamine in Excess of Five Grams within 1000 Feet of a Public Park, two counts of Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance within 1000 Feet of a Public Park, and Reciept of a Precursor Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Westwater has two previous Meth-related convictions against him, one in 2008, the other in 2009. Continue Reading

14 Year Old, 16 Year Old, Arrested After Being Found Driving Stolen Car

Two Juveniles are in custody after a Burlington Police officer spotted them driving a car that was reported stolen on Sunday. At around 3:00 am on Tuesday, an officer discovered 14 year old Alan Thomas and 16 year old Trayvon Ashby driving a stolen 2006 Chevy Malibu. When the officer attempted to pull over the car, the juveniles stopped the car and fled on foot near Central and Valley. After a brief foot chase, both boys were taken into custody. The younger Thomas, who was driving the car, is charged with operating a motor vehicle without consent, having no valid drivers license, and interference with official acts causing injury after a Des Moines County Sheriff’s deputy received a minor injuring during the foot chase. Continue Reading

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Grove Street Residents Seek Parking Relief

Residents on Grove Street in Burlington say that an attempt to alleviate a confusing and difficult to navigate parking situation has backfired, causing more problems than it solved. Grove Street residents Cindy Bragg, Cameron Capps, and Doug Ita all spoke during the public comment portion of Monday Night’s Burlington City Council meeting. The City Council at a previous meeting restricted parking on the street to one side, but Bragg says that not only is parking more inconvenient for people without driveways, it’s having another effect as well: drivers have been speeding down the road. “Since you’ve put parking on only one side, it’s been a raceway,” Bragg said. The City Council moved to make parking on the narrow street restricted to the south side after a Grove Street resident petitioned the council to change their original plans, which was to restrict parking on the north side. Continue Reading

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Henry County Sheriff: Man May be Impersonating Police Officer, Pulling Over Drivers

Henry County Sheriff’s Deputies are on the look out for a man who they believe is impersonating a police officer. Deputies say that on Monday afternoon a female driver was pulled over by a man driving a car with police-like markings and flashing lights, near the Big Creek Bridge on Old Highway 34. The driver of that vehicle was described as a white male, standing approximately 6’4″, with light brown hair and a thin build. The subject apparently asked the female driver about expired registration, and when she pointed out that her registration was up-to-date, the man returned to his vehicle and followed the female driver to the Edge of Mount Pleasant, where she then lost sight of him. The male was driving a car similar to a Ford Crown Victoria. Continue Reading

Three Month Old Infant Found Dead in Burlington, No Evidence of Foul Play

Foul play is currently not expected in the case of a three month old Burlington infant found dead Sunday. Burlington Police say that at around 9:17 am, police and emergency personnel were dispatched to 804 North 8th Street to a report of an unresponsive infant. Upon arrival, they found three month old Zeke Alexander Youngwolf, dead. The incident is still under investigation. It’s not clear what led to the child’s death. Continue Reading