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FM Prison Guard Suit in Jury’s Hands; Seeking $4.5-Million

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A lawyer for a female prison guard suing Iowa for sexual harassment says the Department of Corrections practice of allowing violent inmates to watch sexually graphic movies encouraged prisoners to harass and threaten her. Kristine Sink’s attorney, Paige Fiedler, told jurors in closing arguments Thursday that Sink tolerated threats of rape and murder. She is seeking up to $4.5 million for emotional distress. Sink says supervisors at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison allowed harassment by inmates and co-workers. Assistant Iowa Attorney General Tyler Smith, representing the state, says showing the movies was wrong but officials dealt appropriately with Sink’s issues, which he called no worse than other guards faced. Continue Reading


Woman Seeks Revenge with Knife, Bat

A Burlington woman is accused of attacking two people with a knife and a baseball bat, early yesterday(Thur) morning in front of 105 Shields. 24-year old Jacole Wright of 24-33 Washington Street will face a felony charge of Aggravated Domestic Abuse-Assault in connection with the incident, which reportedly involved the father of her child and his current girlfriend. Continue Reading

Man Pays Price for Running

A 38-year old Burlington man may face charges, after police say he was involved in two accidents within a few minutes of each other, late yesterday(Thur) afternoon. Jeremy Ruther was injured in the second collision…in the 3000 block of Mason Road. He and the other driver, 43-year old Melinda Clark of Burlington, were both taken to Great River Medical Center. City police say two or three minutes earlier, Ruther’s Buick was apparently involved in a hit & run at the corner of West and Garfield Streets. That remains under investigation. Continue Reading

LeeCo Group Sues Supervisors

It was not unexpected and a group of citizens has now filed a lawsuit alleging three Lee County supervisors violated Iowa’s open meetings law. The Daily Gate City reports supervisors Rick Larkin and Ron Fedler were handed lawsuit documents at a Tuesday meeting, and the paperwork was left for Supervisor Ernie Schiller, who wasn’t at the meeting. The suit claims the three supervisors broke the law by gathering before a September 2nd meeting to discuss options for making Fort Madison the sole county seat. Lee County citizens and officials have been discussing whether to end the county’s unusual status of having two county seats, one in Ft. Madison and the other in Keokuk. Continue Reading


Local United Way Tops 76%

The Burlington-West Burlington Area United Way Cabinet announced yesterday(Weds) that pledges totaling more than 76% of this year’s goal have now come in.  

That’s $466,264 of the just over $612,000 target. The F-I-R-E Division is at 94 1/2% of its target…Construction, 92 1/2…and Residential, just under 91%. Continue Reading

road construction

Area Roads Undergo Repairs, Rebuilding, Transformations

A number of area roads are in the news this week. In Des Moines County, Engineer Brian Carter told supervisors that the work on Mediapolis Road west of Mediapolis is coming along nicely. In Burlington, Mt. Pleasant Street has been picked for some asphalt repairs, so there’s just one westbound lane between Roosevelt and West Burlington Avenue.  

In Ft. Continue Reading


More Problems Come to Light at New FM Prison

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Corrections is disclosing more construction problems at the new $132 million maximum-security prison in Ft. Madison, which has been delayed for months. The department said today(Wed) that a July 29 test at the new Iowa State Penitentiary found that the smoke control system was not up to code. The department says modifications were made to the system’s design in the following months, and a follow-up test Sept. 25 was considered successful. Continue Reading


Healthiest State-Wide Walks

Today(Weds) is the 4th annual Healthiest State Initiative 1K walk in Iowa and here are some of the walks already organized, if you’d like to participate:

In the Burlington area, at noon, you can join the HyVee Walk starting at the Crapo Park Main Shelter House on Madison Avenue, the CWB Walk at 122 Broadway in West Burlington, the Girl Scouts Walk at 501 South Broadway or the Great River Medical Center Walk at 1221 South Gear in West Burlington. At 3 pm, participate in the Winegard Walk: North Meets South at 3000 Kirkwood Street or the Two Rivers Walk at 214 North Main. In Ft. Madison, at noon, it’s the Mid-Day Downtown Park-to-Park Walk at Central Park…and at 2 pm, Lee County’s Health Department will hold its Break Time Walk at 2218 Avenue H.

In Mediapolis at noon, feel free to join the High School Walk at 725 North Northfield. Continue Reading


Open Enrollment Growth Main Factor in WB Bond Issue Proposal

The West Burlington School District wants more tax money. The Board of Education voted Monday night to ask residents in early December(Dec. 2) for 6.75-million dollars by way of the bond process…and to double the District’s Physical Plant and Equipment Levy(PPEL).  

The Lion’s share of the funding…if voters say “yes,”…would go to expand and improve the elementary building, including six new classrooms, a new gym and kitchen…but some would be used to solve a long-standing problem outside the school — the daily congestion of the drop-off and pickup lanes.  

WB Supt. Continue Reading