Proposal to Ban Teen Tanning Advances

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A proposal to bar minors from using tanning beds at salons has won approval in the Iowa Senate. The bill passed the Senate in a 26-23 vote Tuesday. Under the plan, those under the age of 18 would not be allowed to use a tanning device at a commercial establishment. Sen. William Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, says restricting tanning was a safety precaution for young people. But Sen. Mark Chelgren, a Republican from Ottumwa, argues it was safer for teens to tan in licensed establishments. Continue Reading

Neither Side Budging on Public School Funding

There was another meeting of key leaders late Tuesday afternoon, but still no end to the statehouse stalemate over state aid to public schools. A 10-member conference committee assembled weeks ago to try to break the impasse met, but both parties kept to their respective bargaining positions. House Speaker Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha, the top Republican in the legislature, says Republicans are not going to budge from their proposal to boost general state aid to schools by about 100-million dollars. “That is a very real commitment” Paulsen says. “It’s a significant amount of money and we’re very concerned about going any higher.” Continue Reading


Keokuk PD Looking for Burglary Suspects

Keokuk Police are looking for information that could lead to the arrest of two men who burglarized a Keokuk home on Monday. In a news release, Keokuk police say that residents of 150 Oak Cliff Lane were expecting guests at around 8:48pm Monday night, but when the resident opened the door, two black males forced their way inside. The intruders assaulted the residents, and stole items from the home. One of the intruders had a handgun. If you have any information, please contact the Keokuk Police Department at 319-524-7704. Continue Reading

Mediapolis House Damaged By Dryer Fire

A clothes dryer caught on fire, damaging a Mediapolis home on Tuesday. Mediapolis fire officials say that everyone was able to get out of the house at 5613 205th street, owned by Loren and Shelly Norton, without injury. Upon arrival, Mediapolis firemen, with help from Burlington and Oakville Fire Departments, were able to get a quick knockdown on the fire. The blaze is estimated to have caused around $60,000 in damage, mostly to the basement. The house is structurally OK. Continue Reading

Fort Madison Man Allegedly Threatens Courthouse With Crossbow, Leads Police on Slow Speed Chase

A Fort Madison man is in jail after apparently threatening the Lee County Courthouse with a crossbow and then sending Fort Madison Police on a slow speed chase through town. 21 year old Wade Ellis Southern of Avenue A is being charged with going armed with intent, interference with judicial acts, and eluding police as well as a simple moving violation. Fort Madison Police Chief Bruce Niggemeyer says that Southern initially called the courthouse asking for information regarding a case he was previously involved in. As per courthouse policy, Southern was asked to come to the courthouse himself and show ID in order to see the records. Apparently upset, Southern agreed to come to the courthouse but told court officials he would bring a crossbow with him. Continue Reading

Burlington Schools Pass Tentative Budget, Still Waiting for Des Moines Funding

The Burlington School Board will likely be raising it’s property tax rate during the 2016 Fiscal Year. While the school board voted during a Monday night meeting to publish a .96 cent tax hike, from $15.43 per $1,000 assessed valuation to $16.39 per $1,000, Business Director Chris Stensland says that she doesn’t expect the tax to end up being that high, but because the state of Iowa has yet to agree on the allowable growth rate for schools in the state, they have to take advantage of what’s called “budget guarantee”. A Budget guarantee allows the school to maintain funding levels on its own by raising local property taxes. While she predicts that the rate hike will be closer to around .35 cents, she says that even if the worst happens, it still will be less than previous numbers. “If we would end up with a .96 increase, which I don’t anticipate, we would still have a tax rate lower this fiscal year than it was five years ago,” said Stensland. Continue Reading

Democrats Decry ‘Partisan Persuasion’ of Board of Regents

Senate Democrats say Iowa’s Republican governor has followed the letter, but not the spirit of the law when it comes to appointing new people to the board that governs the three state-supported universities. Senator Bob Dvorsky, a Democrat from Coralville, says the three women Governor Branstad has asked to serve on the Board of Regents have “great resumes” and are likely to be confirmed by senators to serve on the panel. “Having said that, I’m truly disappointed in the governor not actually the following the spirit of the law in the way he’s divided up the people by political persuasion on the Board of Regents,” Dvorsky says. If, as expected, senators vote to confirm the new members of the Board of Regents, five of the board’s nine members will be registered Republicans, three will be independents and one will be a Democrat. “That doesn’t necessarily reflect the electorate in Iowa,” Dvorsky says. Continue Reading

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Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation Releases Autumn Steele Shooting Tape

The Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation has released a 12 second video captured from Burlington Police Officer Jesse Hill’s body mounted camera on January 6th–the day that Hill shot Autumn Steele when responding to a domestic dispute. In it, it shows the moment of the shooting. While Autumn Steele is grabbing and pulling at her husband Gabriel, Hill orders the couple to stop. “He’s got my kid!” Steele responds. Continue Reading

Cigarette Butt Ignites Sunday Afternoon West Burlington Housefire

A dropped cigarette butt is what triggered a porch fire in West Burlington on Sunday afternoon. West Burlington Fire Chief Mike Heim says that nobody was at the home at 410 Longmeadow when the fire was discovered at around 1:19 pm. The home, owned by Ron Brzone and rented by Carrie Burk, sustained around $5,000 in damage. Damage was mostly contained to the front porch with minimal damage to the first interior room. Firefighters managed a quick knockdown, thanks to the efforts of 14 West Burlington and Five Burlington Firefighters. Continue Reading