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RV Destroyed in Fire at Carthage Lake

An RV Fire at Carthage Lake Club in Illinois caused an impressive plume of smoke that could be seen all the way in Burlington on Tuesday. Burlington Firefighters were actually the first one on the scene of the fire at around 6:21 am. Upon arrival they found a fully engulfed RV burning dangerously close to a raised, stilted house on Carthage Lake Club Road. Flames were shooting up to 20 yards from the RV, threatening to catch the home on fire. The RV was completely destroyed. Continue Reading

Double Amputee Testifies in Tsarnaev Trial

A woman who lost her legs in the Boston Marathon bombing is the first witness to testify in the penalty phase of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial. Celeste Corcoran on Tuesday recalled being thrown into the air and landing hard on the sidewalk after the first bomb exploded. She says: “I remember hearing just blood-curdling screams.” She says the pain was so great that she felt like she wanted to die, but she quickly regained her resolve to live when she thought of her family. Corcoran says she learned only after her legs were amputated that her 17-year-old daughter, Sydney, had also been seriously hurt and almost bled to death. Continue Reading

Kansas City Man Pleads Not Guilty to Terrorism Charges

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 20-year-old Kansas man has pleaded not guilty to federal charges accusing him of trying to bomb an Army installation for a terrorist group. John T. Booker Jr. appeared Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kansas, wearing an orange jumpsuit and his legs in shackles. The Topeka Capital-Journal (http://bit.ly/1OChysl ) reports Booker politely responded to Judge James P. O’Hara’s questions as he entered his plea. He’s charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to damage property by means of an explosive and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group. Continue Reading

Sheriff: Ex-NFL Star Aaron Hernandez is a Master Manipulator

The sheriff who had former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez in custody for more than 18 months says he’s a master manipulator and will probably do fine in prison now that he has been sentenced to life for murder. Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said Tuesday that Hernandez knows how to use his charm and manipulate better than anyone he has ever seen. But he calls disrespect a “hot-button” issue for Hernandez. Hernandez was convicted last week of the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee. He will ultimately end up at the maximum-security Souza Baranowski state prison. Continue Reading

Illinois House Panel Grills Rauner Budget Director Over Cuts

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois House members want Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget office to provide a detailed list of program cuts and the criteria used to make those decisions. House Speaker Michael Madigan formed the budget oversight panel after Rauner suspended $26 million in social services and public health grants as part of his push to reduce a $1.6 billion shortfall in the state budget. Lawmakers requested the documents during a Tuesday morning meeting. Lawmakers in March passed a plan to plug the gap that included cuts and transfers from special state funds. Continue Reading

JOBS

Unemployment Drops Again in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A state report released Tuesday shows Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped for the third-straight month this year, down to 4.0 percent in March. Iowa Workforce Development data shows the rate improves upon February’s 4.1 percent and the March 2014 rate of 4.4 percent. It is also under last month’s national average of 5.5 percent. Iowa lists approximately 1.65 million people as employed in the state, 600 more than in February and 25,500 higher than last year. The report also shows the education and health services sector posted the most job gains in March with an increase of 2,300. Continue Reading

The council chambers were completely filled for the rezoning hearing.

North Hill Petitioners Lose Zoning Battle

A single block of in the North Hill Neighborhood will not be rezoned following a split decision by the Burlington City Council. The petition to rezone the block containing 1111 North 5th Street from multi-family residential to single-family residential was first brought to the Council’s attention when the issue came in front of the Zoning Board of Adjustments in March, who unanimously denied the petition. Neighbors signed the petition specifically to target 1111 North 5th, which was previously used as an 11 unit boarding house. Under a previous owner, the property was a nuisance in the neighborhood, a den of drugs, crime, and uncleanliness. Ed Russell used to own the home next door, raising his children there. Continue Reading

Yarmouth Café Fire Was Arson, Sheriff’s Officials Say

The Des Moines County Sheriffs Department is bringing their investigation of the Yarmouth Café fire to a close–they’ve determined it was intentionally set. Mediapolis News reports that video evidence reportedly found at the scene has revealed key evidence in the blaze that gutted the inside of the Café on March 24. “I can’t comment on the video evidence, but we have determined the fire was intentionally set,” said Des Moines County Sheriff Mike Johnstone. This comes as Yarmouth Café owner Delight Lebert was found dead in a garage at her home. According to the Louisa County Sherriff’s Department, the department received a call Friday at 12:54 p.m. from a John Kuisle who requested medical attention for Lebert. Continue Reading