Council Okays 10-Year Exemption for Central City; Same Break for Outlying Areas Not Certain

Burlington City Manager Jim Ferneau got a 5% raise last(Mon) and $50 more every month for fuel expenses. Councilman Tim Scott reminded the audience that Ferneau didn’t get any raise last year. Ferneau, by the way, read some economic figures he’s received — local hotel-motel occupancy is up an estimated 29% over last year…sales tax revenues are up about 2 1/2 to 3%…and the word “stable,” as it’s used by Moody’s and other bond-rating companies now takes into account that most units of local government have cut their budgets substantially, so the expectations of what they can do are lower. In one other piece of business, the Council agreed to extend, to 10 years, the tax exemption program for homebuilders and residential re-developers who work in a 110-square block area including the downtown, much of South Hill and some of the north side. The question of whether to expand the same program citywide could come up again. Continue Reading


Polhans’ Bond Set at $500,000 for Sunday Shooting

Bond has been set at $500,000 for Ray Polhans. The 42-year-old Ft. Madison man is accused of riding his motorcycle to Burlington yesterday afternoon, confronting 35-year-old Marvin Sutton in the back yard at 1609 Green Street, and then shooting him in the chest as Sutton waved a hammer. Just before midnight, authorities in Ft. Madison apprehended Polhans and brought him back to Des Moines County to face a First-Degree Murder charge. Continue Reading

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Judge Sets Polhans’ Bond at $500-K; FM Man Accused in Shooting Death

Des Moines County Judge Michael Dieterich today(Mon) set a Ft. Madison man’s bond at $500,000 on a First-Degree Murder charge. 42-year old Lenard “Ray” Polhans of 13-09 23rd Street is accused of shooting 35-year Marvin Sutton in the chest behind 16-09 Green Street in Burlington, shortly before 3 o’clock yesterday(Sun) afternoon. Lt. Jeff Klein of Burlington’s Criminal Investigation Division says the two men knew each other, but were not friends.  

Sutton was pronounced dead at the scene and authorities tracked Polhans late last(Sun) night to Ft. Continue Reading


Meth Bust in New London

Three people in Henry County were arrested Friday on meth charges. After officials searched a home at 401 N. Poplar Street in New London, they arrested 27-year-old Raymond Beggs of Burlington, 54-year-old Joseph Liggett also of Burlington, and 24-year-old Cigi Bowman of New London. All three were charged with Manufacturing Meth over Five Grams.

Liggett was also charged with Possession of Precursors with Intent to Manufacture Meth. Cigi was also charged with Delivery of a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Manufacture. Continue Reading

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Burlington Man Shot, Killed; FM Acquaintance Arrested for Murder

Another shooting in Burlington and this time it was fatal. The good news is that police have arrested a Fort Madison man and charged him with First-Degree Murder. The victim, 35-year-old Marvin Sutton, was shot in the chest about 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon in the back yard at 16-09 Green Street, between Leebrick and Garfield. He was pronounced dead at the scene with a hammer in one hand. Neighbors say they saw at least two people leaving the house on motorcycles, and late last night authorities in Ft. Continue Reading


Keys Last to be Sentenced for 2013 Cocaine Distribution

A Burlington man who was arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine back in April of 2013, was sentenced yesterday. 29-year-old Corey Keys has been sentenced to 151 months in prison. He has also been ordered to serve five years of supervised release after his prison term and pay $100 towards the Crime Victims Fund. From March of 2012 until the end of April 2013, Keys and others, who have already been sentenced, distributed cocaine in the Burlington area. During that time period, he and co-defendant Shane Culbertston sold an undercover law enforcement agent cocaine in multi-ounce quantities. Continue Reading


Grimes Student is Iowa’s School Safety Patroller of the Year

A Grimes Elementary School 5th grader got a nice surprise at today’s end of the school year award ceremony. Steve Musson, AAA Field Manager for Iowa City and Bettendorf, made the trip down to Burlington today to announce that Landon Steemer is AAA Iowa’s School Safety Patroller of the Year….. The award was based on leadership skills, good citizenship, school improvement and application of safety skills. We talked to Steemer after the ceremony who told us he was extremely surprised…. Steemer’s mother was just as shocked and said that she new he was nominated but was told nothing else. Continue Reading


12 Arrested for Illegal Documents in Wever

Twelve workers at the Iowa Fertilizer Plant in Wever were arrested today for using fake documents to get their jobs at the plant. No names have been released yet. The Lee County Sheriff’s Deputies made the arrest after they received a tip last night. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officer was also called in to help the deputies translate. Eleven were charged with possession of illegally obtained documents. Continue Reading


Burlington Schools Making Their Own Bread, Cookies and Pizza

Almost 3 years ago, the Burlington School District did a little experimenting, and developed their own bread for their school lunches that meet all the child nutrition law requirements. Their bakery is located in the old James Madison Middle School. A couple years ago, the school district found that it was going to be cheaper to produce their own product after going through their annual bidding process. Food Service Director Alan Mehaffy, says now that they have perfected their bread, they have also created a cookie that meets the standards… They’ve also been experimenting with pizzas made from the same dough they use to make their bread. Continue Reading