FM Senior Facing Meth Charges

Lee County’s Narcotics Task Force has arrested a Ft. Madison senior citizen on methamphetamine charges. 74-year old Roger Traman of 1203 23rd Street is formally accused of a felony with several enhancers:  Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth in Excess of Five Grams, Within 1000 Feet of a School, Second or Subsequent Offense.  Traman is also charged with Maintaining a Drug House, an aggravated misdemeanor, and if convicted he could be sentenced to as much as 92 years in state prison. Continue Reading


WB School Board Proceeds with $6.75-Million Bond Issue

The West Burlington School Board said “yes” Monday night to a 6.75-million dollar bond referendum and plans for additions, renovations and other updates to the elementary and middle & high schools. Supt. Dave Schmitt says much of the need for the additional space is a result of the district’s favorable image in the open enrollment competition…and many of those who showed up at Monday night’s special meeting wondered why all the new students didn’t come with new money.  Schmitt told us during a “live” interview yesterday(Tues) that some funds do follow the students from one district to another. Schmitt says the elementary school has the most pressing space needs, but the most noticeable addition may be outside — additional space for dropoffs and pickups before and after school. Continue Reading


New FM Prison Still Not Open; Lawmakers Want to Know Why

The Iowa Senate’s Oversight Committee plans to hold a public hearing to ask state officials why the new state prison in Fort Madison hasn’t opened. Senator Matt McCoy, a Democrat from Des Moines, is a member of the committee and says he wants to know what’s happening and why no opening date has been set. The state has spent more than 132-million dollars to build a new, maximum security prison in Fort Madison, but the scheduled opening in March was delayed due to problems in the prison’s heating and cooling system. There is no new date set for opening the facility, which is designed to house up to 800 inmates. Senator Janet Petersen, a Democrat from Des Moines who is chairwoman of the Senate Oversight Committee, says legislators also have questions about movies that are being shown to prisoners. Continue Reading

Zager Says Sprinkler Requirement is Unfair

A well-known local developer approached the Burlington City Council last(Mon) night, saying he shouldn’t have to install sprinklers in his new condos…the “Masters” development…on Florence Avenue. Steve Zager feels since he’d already been issued a building permit, forcing him to add the expense of sprinkler systems would put him at a financial disadvantage in the local market. He says he’s just asking for a level playing field. City Fire Marshal Mark Crooks says because Zager changed the development after it was approved, current fire code now applies…and in this case that means sprinklers. Council members promised to read the material and discuss the matter some more. Continue Reading


To Elect or Appoint a New Council Member: Vote is Tied

It looks like the Burlington City Council will have trouble deciding whether to appoint or elect someone to fill Becky Shockley’s empty seat. Shockley resigned earier this month and Councilman Bob Fleming says a special election…at an estimated cost of $15,000…is not called for.  Becky Anderson also feels someone should be appointed to serve another year, but Mayor Shane McCampbell wants an election and Councilman Tim Scott said he doesn’t want to be a part of the “good ol’ boys” network. Members will be asked to vote on the matter next Monday. Continue Reading

Council Votes Quickly to Pay for Flood Prevention Study

There was very little discussion yesterday(Mon), before the Burlington City Council voted unanimously to hire a Des Moines area firm to do a flood mitigation study of the riverfront. The Council is seeking millions-of-dollars in state funding for construction of the as-yet-unknown project and the Council agreed to pay Veenstra and Kimm up to $128,777 and the study has to be done by December 1st. Continue Reading


First-Half Tax Payments Due Tomorrow in Des Moines County

If you own property in Des Moines County, your first-half payment is due tomorrow(Tues). You can pay in person at the Treasurer’s Office in the courthouse until 4:30 tomorrow afternoon or on-line at “iowatreasurers.org” until 11:59 tomorrow night. There are fees for on-line payments. If you’d like to mail your payment, be sure it’s postmarked no later than September 30th; 1 1/2% per month interest will be added to your bill beginning Wednesday. Continue Reading


LeeCo Task Force Busts Two

Lee County’s Narcotics Task Force arrested a Ft. Madison man today(Mon) on cocaine charges. 54-year old Kevin Shavers (of 102 18th Street) is facing a felony count of possession and a misdemeanor charges of possessing drug paraphernalia. If he’s found guilty of both, he could go to prison for more than five years. In an unrelated bust yesterday(Sun), 20-year old Dalton Meyers of (14-27 Missouri Avenue) Keokuk was picked up for Possession of Meth…Unlawful Possession of a Prescription Drug…and Possession of Paraphernalia. Continue Reading