Vehicle Fire Spreads to Mount Pleasant House

Mount Pleasant Fire Officials say that a vehicle caught fire in an attached garage early Thursday morning, catching an Ivy Street house on fire and threatened to burn down even more houses. The house at 1404 Ivy Street suffered major damage, according to a news release. Once the fire spread to the house, it took two hours for firefighters to get the blaze under control. Firefighters feared that the blaze would spread to other homes in the neighborhood. A red flag warning for fire was in effect due to high winds and dry conditions. Continue Reading

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Intoxicated Burlington Man Arrested, Allegedly Attempted to Fling Feces at Correctional Officer

A Burlington man is facing charges after first allegedly being found drunk in public while carrying weapons, and then attempting to throw feces at a correctional officer once he was in jail. 20 year old Terry Stewart is charged with Public Intoxication, Possession of Weapons with Intent, and Assault on a Peace Officer. Police initially responded to the 300 block of Angular street at 10:20 am on Monday to a report of two individuals fighting. When they arrived, they found a shirtless and apparently intoxicated Stewart, who allegedly ran from the officers before being apprehended in the Maple Hills area on South 4th street. While patting Stewart down, Police allegedly discovered a pair of brass knuckles in his pocket. Continue Reading

Assisted Living Center Employee Stole Medication from Resident, Police Say

An employee at a Mount Pleasant Assisted Living Center is in jail after allegedly stealing medication from a resident’s room. Mount Pleasant Police arrested 29 year old Andrea Speidel, who was allegedly seen on camera taking hydrocodone, a controlled substance, from a resident’s room at SunnyBrook Assistaed Living Center. Speidel is charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and Dependent Adult Abuse. Speidel was released from jail after posting bond early Wednesday. Continue Reading

Huge Brush Fire Burns 60 Acres Near Mediapolis

An enormous fire burned 60 acres of corn fields and brush just east of Mediapolis on Tuesday. Mediapolis fire officials say no property damage resulted from the fire, but it took the efforts of four fire departments to get it extinguished. The fire was in the middle of a field, just behind 23437 92nd avenue. Mediapolis, Yarmouth, Oakville, and Morning Sun Fire Departments assisted in the knockdown. The cause of the fire is unknown. Continue Reading

Bills to Stop MHI Closures Still Alive in Legislature

A bill that would stall efforts to close the Mental Health Institutes in Mount Pleasant and Clarinda is still alive and well in the Iowa legislature. Mt. Pleasant Democratic State Senator Rich Taylor spoke to KBUR this week to provide an update on the situation. Senate File 402 remains in the House right now, after being passed in the Senate, and is expected to be discussed in subcommittee soon. “This bill will force the Department of Human Services to continue accepting patients through June 30th of this year and develop a plan for community services before they close down any MHI’s in the state,” Taylor told KBUR. Continue Reading

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BPD Chief: Crime Down in Burlington

Burlington’s Police Chief says that despite contrary public sentiment, the crime rate in Burlington is actually going down, continuing a trend that has lasted for several years. Police Chief Doug Beaird gave his annual report to the Burlington City Council during a Monday night work session. He reported that overall offenses fell to 5,707 last year, down from 5,875 the year before. “I’d love to be able to change perceptions, but I can’t. You have to look at offenses, and they’re down by about 160,” said Beaird. Continue Reading

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Public Records Reveal Ft. Madison Prison Was Not Expected to Open Until Fall 2015

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A public record shows that Iowa’s new prison for male offenders wasn’t expected to be fully operational until fall 2015 even before workers discovered the latest delay-causing problem. An extension signed by the Department of Corrections with a contractor in June 2014 said that occupancy of the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison would be “completed in the fall of 2015.” The next month, testing found that smoke evacuation systems in the inmate housing units were flawed. Workers are trying to bring the buildings up to the fire code. Corrections’ deputy director Brad Hier said the fall 2015 date was a conservative ballpark estimate and no longer has relevance. Continue Reading

Derrick Swanson. Courtesy: Des Moines County Jail

Stolen Vehicle Found Stuck in the Mud; One Arrested

A stolen vehicle was quickly recovered after being stolen from a Burlington home last night. When Des Moines County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle stuck in the mud just south of 240th Street, they discovered a vehicle driven by 35 year old Derrick Swanson–a vehicle that had been reported stolen earlier in the evening. The vehicle was recovered, along with two firearms that were inside the vehicle when it was stolen. Swanson was arrested in connection with the stolen vehicle and also charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. Continue Reading

DNA Testing Underway to Determine Victim of Fatal Accident

A driver is dead after driving their car through a field and striking a tree after running off road just south of Dallas City, Illinois last week. Illinois State Police say that the drivers identity is unknown, pending DNA testing results. They warn the process may take up to two weeks. At around 2:05 am on March 22nd, a 2003 Honda SUV driven by a unknown individual was approaching a T Intersection at Illinois Route 94 and Route 9, when they blew a stop sign and flew off road, into a field before striking a tree. The driver sustained “Severe Traumatic Injuries”. Continue Reading