Burlington School Administrators Will Wear Body Cameras

Burlington Schools will become the first in the area where building administrators will wear body cameras during some private meetings with parents and students. In a press release from Burlington Superintendent Pat Coen, he says that the impetus for adding body cameras comes after Aldo Leopold Middle School Principal Mark Yeoman was accused of assaulting a student. Video evidence vindicated Yeoman, but the current cameras installed in the school only capture video, not audio, making it impossible to investigate allegations of verbal misconduct. Administrators will be given a script to read prior to turning on the device, informing the subjects of the intent to record the conversation and giving them the option to decline recording. Files will only be retained if they are deemed necessary. Continue Reading

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Shots Fired on Maple Street, Police Investigating

Shots were fired last night in the 300 block of Maple Street in Burlington. Burlington Police say that a vehicle was travelling in the 300 block of Maple Street when it passed by two pedestrians. One of those pedestrians shot at the vehicle as it passed. The vehicle was later found unoccupied in the South Hill Neighborhood. Police say no injuries have been reported so far and no arrests have been made. Continue Reading

Lee County Sheriff Encourages ‘Code Red’ System Enrollment

The Lee County “Code Red” Emergency Alert System came into play on Sunday when a 25 year old inmate escaped from the Iowa State Prison in Fort Madison. The system sends phone, text, or email alerts warning residents of danger in the area, but Lee County Sheriff Jim Sholl says that several residents have called the Sheriff’s departments complaining that they did not receive any alert. The “Code Red” system is an opt-in system. Sholl encourages citizens to enter their contact information into the Code Red database. A citizen can choose to receive notification via phone call, text message, email or any combination of those options. Continue Reading

Back to the Drawing Board on Grove Street Parking Issue

It’s back to the drawing board for a plan to restrict parking to one side of the street on Grove Street. Following a disagreement between residents as to which side of the street to restrict parking to, the City Council has opted to scrap the idea altogether and instead return parking to it’s original state–before parking restrictions on the north side were added last month. A number of residents on both sides of the issue spoke at Monday night’s city council meeting. The parking restriction was originally proposed in order to ensure that snow plows and wide emergency vehicles could safely maneuver through Grove Street, but residents complained that the one-side parking restriction created a situation where people are speeding down the road. “Personally, I don’t even like this situation, now.” Continue Reading

Lee County Narcotics Task Force Nabs Six in Separate Drug Arrests

The Lee County Narcotics Taskforce has had an extremely busy week, with not one, not two, but six drug arrests following the close of multiple investigations. The first came on July 2nd, when Keokuk Police arrested 51 year old Duke Crowell, 47 year old Kathy Crowell, 25 year old Chad Stark, and 29 year old Lindsay Riddle of Keokuk. Stark and Kathy Crowell were charged with Maintaining a Drug House and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. They face up to two years in prison. Duke Crowell is charged with Possession of Methamphetamine and Maintaining a Drug House, he faces 3 years in prison. Continue Reading

A slight haze of smoke can be seen over the Mississippi in Downtown Burlington, all thanks to Canadian Wildfires.

Air Quality Unhealthy: Canadian Wildfire Smoke Permeates Through Iowa

You may have noticed a particular smell in the air today in Burlington, and you can thank our friends to the north for it. Wildfires that have been raging in Canada and Alaska have managed to affect us down here in Iowa. David Cousins with the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities says that atmospheric conditions were just right for the smoky, ozoney smell to permeate throughout the state. “The winds aloft have been from the North to the Northwest for most of the past few weeks which has drawn that smoky air southward, which has been making for some very colorful sunrises and sunsets,” Cousins told KBUR, “But last night, as the cold front moved through and high pressure started to build, some of that air aloft was forced to the surface, which is why you can smell that smoke.” The smoke is actually visible near the riverfront in Burlington. Continue Reading

Montrose to Add Auxiliary Officers

MONTROSE, Iowa (AP) — The City Council in Montrose has approved plans to try out a program for auxiliary officers to bolster the town’s police force. The Daily Gate City reports that the officers will be paid $1 a year to augment the department’s three-member reserve program. Police Chief Jordan Maag told council members last week that he’s considering hiring two auxiliary officers. He expects to have the officers hired by September. Maag says training could cost up to $600 for each officer, but the officers later will pay back to the city part of the cost. Continue Reading

Justin Kester. Photo from the Iowa Department of Corrections

Fort Madison Prison Escapee Used Tied Bedsheets, Crawled Through Narrow Opening

Governor Terry Branstad says state prison officials are conducting a “total review” of security at the medical unit on the Iowa State Penitentiary grounds where Sunday’s prison break happened. 25 year old Justin Kestner had removed the screws from an access cover to a pipe chase in the cell shower and subsequently maneuvered up the chase and through a vent to the roof. Kestner used a rope constructed from torn bed sheets and the drain pipe to make his way to the ground from the roof of the unit to an unfenced area. “I think it was pretty ingenious in what he came up with,” Branstad says. “I guess most prison escapes are, but it’s stupid, absolutely stupid when you’re on a 10 year sentence to escape prison. Continue Reading


Iowa Democrats Prefer Hillary, But Sanders Gaining in KBUR/Monmouth College Poll

Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton holds a more than 3 to 1 advantage over her closest competitor, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in a KBUR-AM, Burlington, IA, and Monmouth College (IL) Midwest Matters poll of 1,000 likely caucus goers. Clinton has the support of 63% of Democrats in Iowa compared with 20% for Sanders. Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is at 5%, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb is at 3% and former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chaffee is at 1%. Another 8% of respondents are undecided. “The results of the poll fit in pretty well with what the rest of the polls are showing,” said Robin Johnson, host of “Talking Politics” on KBUR and part-time lecturer at Monmouth College, “In that Hillary Clinton has a sizable lead in Iowa. Continue Reading