Local Drivers Ed Teacher Arrested

An local Iowa driving instructor has been accused of stealing another instructor’s identity to teach a class. The Des Moines Register reports 65-year-old Frederick Donald Bindner, of Mount Pleasant, was arrested Tuesday in Johnson County. He faces a charge of felony identity theft. Bindner is accused of using the driving instructor’s personal identification information to teach a class over several days in June. Bindner is prohibited from teaching minors through August 2015 under an agreement signed in April with the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. Continue Reading

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Smoke Scare at St. Johns

The fire was minimal, less than $100 damage, but 10 Burlington firefighters spent about 40 minutes clearing smoke from St John’s Church on Division yesterday morning. Apparently, as the priest was preparing for morning mass, he lit charcoal for the censer used for incense and it’s believed that one or more of the embers from the charcoal fell into a plastic trash can, that had paper and other flammable material in it. Damage was limited to the trash can and a small area of carpet. No one was hurt. Continue Reading

New Crisis Intervention Center in Burlington

Des Moines County supervisors approved an agreement yesterday with Hope Haven, which will pay just under $34,000 a year to lease a new crisis intervention center at 910 Cottonwood Court. The five bed and one office facility, designed primarily for those with mental health crises, actually opened July 1st, according to Hope Haven Executive Director Bob Bartles….. County Community Services Director Ken Hyndman says the new transitional center will serve a large part of the new, 8-county mental health-care region and it should save the County money by keeping people with immediate mental health needs out of hospitals and jails, which is where they’re usually put when there’s a crisis. Continue Reading


WB Council Likely to Settle Limkemann Suit Tonight

The West Burlington City Council meets tonight(Weds) at 6 o’clock and will go into a closed session mid-meeting. According to the agenda, when members emerge, they’ll consider approving a settlement agreement with Skylar Limkemann, the young man who wrote the application for a federal FEMA grant for the Fire Department, then sued the City when a councilman publicly questioned some of the information in the application. Continue Reading

Obama Arrives In New York

Obama Approves Disaster Declaration for Des Moines and Lee Counties

22 Iowa counties were approved for a Presidential Disaster Declaration today, according to a press release from Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s Office. In our area, Des Moines and Lee are two of those 22 counties that were impacted by severe weather in June and July. The declaration will provide federal funding under the Public Assistance Program. According to the press release, the funds can be used for emergency work, replacement of disaster-damaged facilities, debris removal, repairing public property and more. This is Iowa’s third Presidential Disaster Declaration in 2014. Continue Reading


Burlington Council Says Yes to Backyard Recreational Fires

Two more readings and residents of Burlington will be able to enjoy recreational fires in their backyards. The City Council saw to it last(Mon) night, after hearing a couple of concerns passed along by member Becky Shockley. In the case of a neighbor’s breathing problems, the police or fire department can require the flames to be put out. At one point, Mayor Shane McCampbell suggested that the ordinance be enacted on a 90-day trial basis, but Dave Myers, the driving force behind the change, told the council that wouldn’t be fair. The vote was 4-1 with McCampbell making up the minority. Continue Reading


Illinois Man Accused of Shooting Another at Local Campground

A Champaign, Illinois man will face an Attempted Murder charge, in the wake of an early-morning shooting yesterday(Mon) at the Pollmiller Park campgrounds near West Point, Iowa.  

Lee County deputies say 28-year old Cedric Cook and 23-year old Shawn Fox of Beardstown, Illinois were arguing about a woman, when Cook left…came back with a handgun…and shot Fox in the chest. Fox was taken to Ft. Madison Community Hospital, where he was treated and released. Authorities arrested Cook and took him to the Lee County jail. Continue Reading


Messiah Lutheran Church to Host National Night Out Block Party

Dozens of communities across Iowa…including Burlington… will be taking part in this (Tuesday) evening’s National Night Out. Matt Paskin is a spokesman for the 31st annual event which brings people together in their neighborhoods to unite in fighting crime. Nationwide, some 16-thousand communities will be participating in the National Night Out. Burlington’s observance will be at Messiah Lutheran Church, 24-11 West Avenue. Continue Reading


140 Burlington Area Rathbun Customers Lose Water Service

A spokeswoman for Rathbun Regional Water in Centerville says about 140 of its Burlington-area customers were without service for a good part of yesterday(Sun) morning.  

Mindy Payne told us this(Mon) morning that a “main” broke around 5:45 am…the company’s automated calling system kicked in about 8:30…and most, if not all, customers had their water back on by noon. Continue Reading