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New London Molestation Case Dismissed

A woman alleging she was molested by a female coach a decade ago while attending school in New London is dismissing a federal lawsuit against the school district. The woman, identified as Jane Doe, says in documents filed Tuesday, an Iowa Supreme Court opinion last month makes it impossible to continue. In a 4-3 decision the court said the lawsuit wasn’t filed within the time required. The woman’s attorney had tried to convince justices that victims suing schools should have up to two years from the time they discover damage to sue. The court ruled such lawsuits must be filed within two years of when damage occurs. Continue Reading

Acting DMCo Atty. Named to Post

She was the only one to apply…and the Des Moines County Board yesterday(Tues) approved the appointment of Acting County Attorney Amy Beavers to the position until the end of the year. District Judge Michael Schilling gave Beavers the oath-of-office and afterwards, we asked her about her immediate plans, which include assessing attorney assignments within the office and preparing for two homicide trials. A little later this year, Beavers says the local court system will move into the 21st Century, when it makes the transition to all-electronic filing of cases. As County Attorney, Beavers will get a raise…to about $97,000 a year, the same as her predecessor, Pat Jackson. On November 4th, she’ll be challenged for the job by Republican candidate Trent Henkelvig. Continue Reading

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Next FM City Mgr. to Make Less Than Smith

The Fort Madison City Council made some decisions last(Tues) night about its search for a successor to City Manager Byron Smith. The Daily Democrat says members met with consultant Pat Callahan and now hope to make someone an offer by the end of September…at a salary range of $86,000 to $94,000 a year. No formal decision was made as to whether to hire an interim Manager, but Mayor Brad Randolph has volunteered for duty, should the department heads decide they need one.  

Smith announced recently that’s he’s leaving August 15th to become the city manager in Hermiston, Oregon. Continue Reading

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Burlington Citizens and PD Discuss Area Crime

Dozens showed up tonight and crowded the Heritage Free Methodist Church on Pine Street in Burlington for the first ever Community Crime Prevention Round Table. On hand to answer questions from citizens were Mayor Shane McCampbell, Major Grimshaw and Chief Beaird with the Burlington Police Department, and Des Moines County Attorney Amy Beavers. Ideas about how to make Burlington a safer community were thrown around. One person asked about neighborhood watches and how they’re working. Grimshaw responded…. Continue Reading

Hardin Turns Over Public Flood-Damage Figures; Seeks Individual Damage Assistance Too

Des Moines County Emergency Services Director Gina Hardin announced this(Tues) morning that she’s given the Federal Emergency Management Agency…FEMA…a figure of $325,000, as the amount of damage sustained by public entities as a result of the flooding. That number could increase, as the waters recede. Hardin also told the County Supervisors that she has now filed for Individual Assistance as well, based on damages suffered by a number of local businesses, mainly in downtown Burlington. She says FEMA officials will be in the county Monday to confirm the damges first-hand.  

In a related development, County Engineer Brian Carter says Highway 99…which also took on floodwater…could be reopened this(Tues) afternoon or tomorrow(Weds) morning. Continue Reading

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Councilman Tim Scott Angry about Burlington Crime

Toward the end of last night’s Burlington City Council meeting, Councilman Tim Scott had a melt-down of sorts….. Just a reminder, there is a Community Crime Prevention Roundtable event tonight. The purpose is to discuss the crime issue and come up with ways to help reduce it. The Mayor and members from the Burlington Police Department will also be there. The meeting is open to the public tonight and starts at 6:30 at the Free Methodist Church at 916 Pine Street. Continue Reading

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Emergency Management Folks Tally Flood-Damage Figures

She’s compiling the numbers to see how much damage the flooding has done to public property in Burlington and Des Moines County, with an eye toward reimbursement funds from FEMA…..but Emergency Management Coordinator Gina Hardin won’t apply for individual assistance unless she gets more feedback from homeowners and businesses. Hardin can be reached at 753-8206. In Lee County, Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Cirinna says they’re not looking for any help right now, but that could change.  Cirinna’s office can be reached at 319-372-4124. Continue Reading

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IA River Flood Potential Lessens

The flood potential in eastern Iowa along the Iowa River has diminished enough that the Iowa Corps of Engineers has downgraded its response from “high alert” to monitoring mode. A spokesman for Johnson County Emergency Management, Terrence Neuzil, says that means they can keep watching, but downstream flooding in Columbus Junction, Wapello and Oakville has become less likely. Projections last week at one point showed the water possibly going over the spillway around Wednesday or Thursday of this week. That water went over the spillway in 1993 and 2008 and caused severe flooding downstream. Neuzil says they now will watch for a significant change in the weather that would dump more rain into the watershed. Continue Reading

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Council Says No (again) to 5-Year Homebuilding Incentive

Last week, the unofficial consensus was 3-2 against the proposal…and last(Mon) night the Burlington City Council voted officially to affirm that call, turning thumbs down on a 5-year, citywide property tax abatement for residential development.  

Councilman Tim Scott says 3 of his colleagues have blinders on but Councilwoman Becky Anderson…who’s done a lot of downtown re-development…says the incentives should go to the developer, not the homebuyer, as the 3-year abatement does now.  

Anderson, Becky Shockley and Mayor Shane McCampbell voted against the extension, while Scott and Bob Fleming were in favor of it. Continue Reading