Loebsack Gets on State Fair Soapbox; Miller-Meeks in Burlington

Democratic Congressman Dave Loebsack says the November election “will hinge” on two key issues: Social Security and Medicare. Loebsack spoke Tuesday at The Des Moines Register’s Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair. Loebsack, a Democrat from Iowa City, faces Republican challenger Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa, who will make an appearance at The Drake in downtown Burlington from 12:30 – 1:30 this(Weds) afternoon. She’ll be joined by Barb Grassley, U-S Senator Chuck Grassley’s wife. Loebsack accuses Miller-Meeks of supporting ideas advanced by Republicans like George W. Bush and Paul Ryan — letting younger workers invest their own Social Security taxes and giving seniors a stipend to buy health insurance. Continue Reading


Free Concert at Capitol Postponed Due to Accident

On the local entertainment front, the Capitol Theater benefit show this Thursday night has been cancelled. Theater Manager Colleen Smith says Scott Helmer was loading some equipment into his truck, dropped it on his hand, and broke his hand. As you might imagine, it’s tough to play the guitar with a broken hand, but Smith says Helmer’s “Support Your Cause” tour will make a stop later in downtown Burlington. When Helmer is able to play at the Capitol, concert-goers may make free-will donations to the theater. Other than that, the music will be free. Continue Reading


Father of Jack Hatch Dies

Democratic candidate for governor Jack Hatch says his father has died at age 95 in Massachusetts. Hatch says in a statement his father, Frank Hatch, died Sunday at a care center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Hatch, a state senator from Des Moines, says he last saw his father in June. Funeral arrangements are pending, but Hatch says his family expects to bury his father at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. He says Frank Hatch served in World War II and retired from active duty as a captain in the 87th Airborne Division. Continue Reading


Bracewell Stadium Updates

The Burlington School Board received an update last night from the Purple and Gray Foundation about the Bracewell Stadium renovation. Kevin Mueller with the foundation said that when it comes to the LED lighting being installed, Burlington has something to brag about… After the Bracewell updates, the board approved Broken Centrifuge Productions to film the 2014 football games and operate the new scoreboard for $3,500. They noted that this might be something they create a class for in the near future, and train students to operate cameras and create replays, but it’s too close to the first football season to get that organized… That’s Burlington’s new Superintendent, Pat Coen, who is extremely excited about the new, huge scoreboard. Continue Reading


Council Pushes Earlier Curfew; Chief Beaird Wants More Staff

Burlington Police Chief Doug Beaird says the City’s curfew has worked. But some members of the City Council evidently feel that an earlier curfew would work even better. Currently, those 17-and-younger must be in by 11 pm if there’s school the next day, 12:30 am if it’s not a school night.  

Under Councilwoman Becky Shockley’s recommendation, 14-year-olds and younger would have to be home by 9 pm on school nights and 10 on non-school nights, while those 15-17 could stay out to 11 pm every night. Beaird would also like to see parents facing penalties sooner, if their kids break curfew. Continue Reading


Alleged Stabber Strikes Again after Posting Bond

46-year-old Elmer Donaldson of Burlington was arrested again this afternoon after posting bond at the county jail. Donaldson posted bail at 12:40am today. He was arrested yesterday in connection with a stabbing and threats with a gun near the 800 block of S. 9th in Burlington. He was again apprehended this afternoon at around 12:40pm in the 500 block of Vine Street. He had went to the 800 block of S. 9th Street, where he was arrested yesterday, and began threatening occupants regarding retaliation for his previous arrest. Continue Reading

road construction

Ramp Closures along Highway 34 in Burlington

Beginning next Monday (August 18) you can expect some ramp closures along Highway 34 through Burlington. The Iowa DOT announced today that they’ll be starting a maintenance project which includes hot-mix asphalt patching, shoulder paving, and subdrain repairs. Interchanges affected include Mount Pleasant Street, Gear Avenue, Roosevelt Avenue, and Curran Street. However, not all on/off ramps will be closed at the same time. This section of the construction project is expected to be finished by late October. Continue Reading


Bond Set for Alleged Shooter

Bond has been set at $200,000 cash for a Florida man accused in an early Sunday morning crime spree in Burlington. 26-year old Donald Watkins of Miami allegedly shot and injured two people in the Fun City parking lot, he took part in a drive-by shooting in the 200 block of Hayes in which the bullets struck several vehicles and an apartment building, and helped to set a car on fire near the corner of Oak & Ashmun Streets. He’s charged with two counts of Willful Injury, Intimidation with a Dangerous Weapon, and 2nd Degree Arson. He’s a resident of the Des Moines County jail. His alleged partner-in-crime, 30-year old Virgil Griggs, also of Miami, is charged with Arson and Intimidation with a Weapon, but not with Willful Injury; jail officials say he bonded out. Continue Reading