City Council Members (From L to R) Becky Anderson, Mayor Shane McCampbell, Bob Fleming, Tim Scott, and Jim Davidson place dots next to large lists containing the city's priorities on Thursday.

New Police Station, Improved Parking Downtown Among City Priorities

The Burlington City Council prioritized the building of a new police station and improving downtown parking during a Thursday night goal setting session. Mayor Shane McCampbell and members of the council met for around four hours with Jeff Schott, director of the University of Iowa Institute of Public Affairs. The Council looked at what they’ve been doing right over the past several years and what still needs to be done to improve the city of Burlington. Laying out a large list of concerns, the council selected two “high priority” concerns to tackle and several “medium priority” concerns. High concerns were building a new police station to replace the aging and deteriorating structure downtown, and improving overall parking in the downtown area to be more conducive to business and land development. Continue Reading

Maurice Green. Courtesy: Knox County Jail

Green to Face Trial in Dice Game Murder

Members of the press and public were barred from attending a preliminary hearing Thursday for the man who police say shot and killed 28 year old Matthew Banks earlier last month. James Beres, the Public Defender representing 43 year old Maurice Green, moved to close the hearing, arguing that press coverage and public attendence could hamper Green’s right to a fair trial. Without objection from Des Moines County Attorney Amy Beavers or assistant County Attorney Ty Rogers, District Associate Judge Michael Dieterich closed the hearing. Only after the nearly hour-long hearing adjourned, were the results clear: Green will be tried on first degree murder charges. He’ll be formally arraigned Monday. Continue Reading

Keokuk Man Arrested For Allegedly Selling Marijuana Next to Park

A Keokuk man who police say sold Marijuana at his home directly next door to a park has been arrested on drug charges. 37 year old Jody Everett Zohfeld of 302 South 21st Street was arrested Wednesday at his residence. He’s charged with two counts of Delivery of Marijuana within 1000 feet of a Park. A Multiple Offender, Zohfeld is eligible for up to 60 years in prison if convicted on the two felony charges. That arrest stems from an investigation conducted by the Keokuk Police Department and the Lee County Narcotics Task Force. Continue Reading

Ex-Lawmaker, Acquitted of Sex Abuse Charges, Visits Iowa Capitol

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A longtime state lawmaker who was recently acquitted of charges he abused his dementia-stricken wife visited the Iowa Capitol. Henry Rayhons said Thursday that he wanted to visit former co-workers who had supported him throughout his trial, which drew international attention. Last week, a jury found Rayhons not guilty of third-degree sexual abuse of his wife, Donna Lou Rayhons, who died in August. He was accused of having sex with her at a nursing home in May after being told by staff that she was no longer capable of consenting due to dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Rayhons said he has received letters of support from people around the world, adding that he hoped others would not go through the same kind of prosecution. Continue Reading

John Smith (O'Neal) attempts to get Mary Smith (Luecke) out of his hair while he talks on the phone to his second wife, Barbara (Thompson).

“Run For Your Wife” Starts at Players Workshop this Weekend

A man will attempt to juggle two wives and a huge web of lies this weekend at the Players Workshop in Burlington. British Playwright Ray Cooney’s “Run for Your Wife” will be performed by a local troupe of actors directed by Paul Elledge starting this weekend. “It is about a London Cabbie who has managed to marry two different women, but keep them separate so that they don’t know about each other,” Elledge told KBUR, “One day, he helps fight off some muggers who try to rob this old lady, and is considered a hero, so he tries to convince people that it was someone else so that his face doesn’t end up in the paper and the wives don’t find out [about each other].” The play stars Wade Martin O’Neal as John Smith, Ashante Thompson as Barbara Smith, Amelia Luecke as Mary Smith, Mike Daly as Stanley Gardner, John Toney as Detective Sergeant Troughton, the “Mad Hatter” as Detective Sergeant Porterhouse, Jesse Whalen as the reporter, and Mike Bush as Bobby Franklyn. It starts tomorrow (Friday) May 1st, and runs May 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th starting at 7:00pm. Continue Reading

Bird Flu Spreading: Four More Farms Confirmed Infected

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State agriculture officials say the deadly bird flu virus is still spreading, now suspected on two more Iowa chicken farms and two more turkey operations. Officials say initial tests indicate the virus on two turkey farms in Buena Vista County. One has 50,000 birds and the count on the other farm is still pending. A chicken farm in that county with 63,000 laying hens also tested positive. Tests also returned positive on a chicken breeder farm with 19,000 birds in Kossuth County. Continue Reading

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Burlington City Council to Set Future Goals

The Burlington City Council will try to determine what it’s future holds by looking at the past during a goal setting session tonight. The City is expected to review ongoing issues, concerns, and trends and reevaluate priorities, programs, and projects. There will be a chance for the public to weigh in on the direction of the City. The meeting begins at 3:00 Thursday Afternoon at Burlington City Hall. Continue Reading

Eminent Domain Reform Legislation Advances

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Legislation that would make it harder for two energy projects to win eminent domain rights has won preliminary approval in the Iowa Legislature. Subcommittees in the House and Senate met jointly Tuesday and approved identical legislation on the issue. Under the proposal, a project seeking eminent domain to build through private properties could only get permission after negotiating voluntary deals for at least 75 percent of the affected land. The proposed change could impact two current proposals. One is to build an oil pipeline that would ship 450,000 barrels daily from production sites in North Dakota to an oil hub in Illinois. Continue Reading

Iowa Legislature Prepares to Adjourn, But Won’t Be Home Anytime Soon

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Staffers in the Iowa Legislature are starting some of the tasks associated with adjourning the session, even though lawmakers are not close to concluding the budget process. Student pages in the Iowa Senate were organizing boxes in the chamber Tuesday for members to pack up desks. As per tradition, they also stacked the boxes up to the balcony until they collapsed. Friday will mark the last day for lawmakers to receive daily expense payments, as well as the final day of work for many clerks and pages in the part-time Legislature. But lawmakers in the Democratic-majority Senate and Republican-controlled House have not reached a compromise deal on the state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Continue Reading