Fort Madison Man Arrested on Marijuana Charges

A Fort Madison man could get four years in prison if convicted on Marijuana Charges. 44 year old Robert Louis Reed of Avenue I was arrested after a Lee County Narcotics Taskforce inverstigation into allegations that narcotics were being used in his home. Reed is charged with maintaining a drug house as well as possession of marijuana and drug paraphenalia. The possesion charge is elevated due to two or more previous convictions. Continue Reading

Board of Corrections to Meet at Not-Yet-Opened Fort Madison Prison

The Iowa Board of Corrections will hold its meeting today at the site of the not-yet-opened state prison in Fort Madison. Nick Ludwig is warden at the Iowa State Penitentiary, which first starting housing inmates in 1839. A new facility had been scheduled to open last summer, but remains empty after a series of problems. Ludwig has worked at seven different prison facilities and says he’s “been through this type of situation before,” but he notes most of the 440 employees of the Iowa State Pen have never been through such as experience. “It’s been hard for them not to internalize, you know, us being on the front page about ‘delayed prison’ and ‘soaring prison costs’ and I remind them that none of that is through any fault of their planning, their dedication, devotion, and determination to making this new prison a wonderful place for staff to work and offenders to be housed,” Ludwig says. State officials are in negotiations with contractors seeking payment for fixes at the new prison. Continue Reading

Methbust Composite

Five Arrested in Large Henry County Meth Bust

The Henry County Sheriff’s Department has arrested five people on Methamphetamine Charges, following a six month long investigation into illegal meth activity. After conducting a search warrant at 1643 Wapello Drive, police arrested 45 year old Jason Vanzile, 41 year old Rebecca Cline, 40 year old Sheila Lewman, 40 year old Billy McKinney, and 18 year old Terrance Howard, all of Mount Pleasant. A “one pot”, or “shake and bake” meth lab was discovered along with meth lab materials, weapons, and finished meth. Vanzile and Cline are charged with Manufacture of Methamphetamine. Lewman, McKinney, and Howard are charged with Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine. Continue Reading

Loran Cheely

Sex Offender, Wanted on Multiple Charges, Runs From Police

A non-compliant sex offender allegedly ran from Burlington Police as they attempted to arrest him on warrant charges Wednesday. Police approached 33 year old Loran Cheely III, of Burlington, at his home at 1612 Smith Street to arrest him on three outstanding Des Moines County Warrants as well as a Lee County warrant. When officers approached, Cheely apparently took off running. Police caught up to him at the corner of Market and Marshall. Still refusing to cooperate, police forced him to the ground. Continue Reading

300 Block of Curran Closed for Sewer Repairs

The 300 block of Curran Street is closed to through traffic as of today. The Burlington Public Works office says that a private contractor is doing sewer repairs in the area. Traffic will be controlled by signs and cones. The work is expected to take about five days, weather permitting. Continue Reading

Top House Republican: Marijuana Approval Should Come From FDA

A key Republican lawmaker says the federal agency in charge of approving prescription drugs for the marketplace should make the decision about medical marijuana. Senators may debate a bill next week that would allow marijuana to be grown, processed and sold in Iowa as treatment for a list of medical conditions that cause severe pain, nausea and seizures. House Republican Leader Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake makes decisions on which bills get considered in the House and she’s not inclined to bring that bill up for debate. “If this is a legitimate medication…I really think the FDA needs to weigh in on this issue,” Upmeyer says. “That’s the way we do other medications. Continue Reading

Some Lawmakers Skip Wiccan Prayer at Statehouse

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Many of Iowa’s House lawmakers opted to skip a prayer offered by a member of the Wiccan faith. The prayer Thursday by Deborah Maynard, a Wiccan from Cedar Rapids, was a break from tradition. Cedar Rapids Democratic Rep. Liz Bennett, who invited Maynard, says she thinks it was the first time a Wiccan gave the invocation. The prayer is typically handled by religious leaders or citizens invited by lawmakers. At least half the 100 lawmakers were not present in the House chamber. Continue Reading

From left to right: Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Former Senator Rick Santorum. All images public domain.

Possible GOP Presidential Candidates Speak in Mt. Pleasant

Religious Liberty was the dominant subject at the Family Leadership Regional Summit in Mount Pleasant last night, where four likely GOP presidential contenders courted prospective voters with their individual takes on religious freedom in the United States. The summit was sponsored by the Family Leader organization. It took place on the campus of Iowa Wesleyan College. In attendance were former Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and former Senator Rick Santorum. All four of them agreed on a few key issues: that the direction the country is currently on through the Obama administration is a destructive one, and that religious liberty was the cornerstone of freedom in America. Continue Reading


State Sen. Courtney: Agreement Will Happen on School Funding

Burlington State Senator Tom Courtney says that the state legislature will not adjourn until issues surrounding school funding are solved in the Iowa Statehouse. Courtney spoke on the KBUR Talkshow on Thursday. “We have to stay here until we come to an agreement. We have to.” Courtney told hosts Steve Hexom and Rob Sussman, “What is happening is that it’s getting late in the process, so you’ll see schools say ‘we can’t do a budget because we don’t know what the state money is going to be’, so schools will start… Continue Reading