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Land Swap Between Burlington and West Burlington in Jeopardy

A land swap between Burlington and West Burlington is in jeopardy because of what West Burlington City Manager Dan Gifford calls a lack of cooperation from Burlington Water Works in installing water meters on the annexed property. A developer is looking to purchase around 2.5 acres of land near the Great River Medical Center in West Burlington, right next to a section of land, the Westbrook Estates subdivision, that belongs to Burlington. The developer asked for the land swap, and to encourage it, offered to move a West Burlington Sewer Main from a hard-to-access area to a better location. “We get a lot of infiltration on this line. Where it sits right now, we have very little access to it,” said West Burlington Public Works Director Randy Fry “It’s going to be relocated to where we can get to the manholes…and it’s going to be [PVC pipe] instead of old clay tile.” Continue Reading

These guys get everywhere... Picture from Mayfly.org

Mayflies Swarm Savanna-Sabula Bridge, Force Crews to Plow Off Carcasses

You think we have a problem with Mayflies here in Burlington? Well, highway crews had to plow a bridge crossing the Mississippi River up by Sabula because of ankle-deep mayflies that swarmed the span. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports the insects on Saturday night swarmed to the Savannah-Sabula bridge, connecting Iowa and Illinois. The bugs covered the bridge so thickly, and caused such slick conditions, that crews plowed the bugs off the lanes and then applied sand for traction. Officials plan to keep bridge lights turned off for the next few weeks in hopes that the insects will be less attracted to the structure. Continue Reading

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Governor Branstad Authorizes Extra Security at National Guard Facilities Following Tennessee Attack

Iowa’s governor has authorized new security measures at Iowa National Guard facilities and recruiting stations. Governor Terry Branstad joins the Republican governors of seven states (Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin) to make the move. It’s in response to the shootings in Tennessee last week that killed four Marines and a Navy sailor. Governor Branstad has told the leader of the Iowa National Guard that he may use his discretion and arm soldiers on Guard property where personnel have not been armed before. Branstad had previously ordered the Guard to conduct a thorough review of security at all Iowa National Guard facilities and recruiting stations. Continue Reading

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Rockford Man Turns Down West Burlington Fire Chief Job

The man whom West Burlington City officials tapped to be the city’s new fire chief has declined the job offer sent by the city. West Burlington Mayor Hans Trousil says that Andrew Pieri of Rockford, IL was persuaded to stay with his current employer in Rockford with a pay raise. Pieri was picked over two in-house candidates due to his building inspection experience, as the fire chief position in West Burlington doubles as the building inspector. Trousil says that the council will meet next Tuesday to determine how to proceed with a hire. Continue Reading

Demario Johnson

Alleged Chicago-to-Burlington Cocaine Trafficker Arrested

Southeast Iowa Narcotics Task Force officials say they’ve arrested a man who they say has been heavily involved in the trafficking and sale of cocaine between Chicago and Burlington. 31 year old Damario Johnson was arrested following a search warrant executed at his residence at 1211 Oak Street in Burlington. Police also discovered quantities of marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, and US Currency. A loaded handgun was also discovered. Johnson’s arrest stems from a joint investigation with the Iowa DIvision of Narcotics enforcement in which multiple controlled buys from Johnson were made by investigators over the past two months. Continue Reading

Donald Trump Financial Holdings Revealed by Federal Regulators

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators have made public details about Donald Trump’s wealth and financial holdings. Trump, a Republican presidential candidate who says he’s worth $10 billion, holds leadership positions in more than 500 business entities, according to the forms. The documents show his assets to be at least $1.4 billion and debt of at least $240 million. His most significant assets and debts are listed as simply being “more than $50 million.” It’s impossible to tell from the forms exactly how much Trump is worth because the figures are detailed in broad ranges. Trump has complained that they aren’t adequate to reflect his wealth. Continue Reading

Obama Nominates US Magistrate to Iowa Federal Bench

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — President Barack Obama has nominated a U.S. magistrate to fill an opening on the federal bench in Iowa. Obama announced Tuesday he had nominated U.S. Magistrate Leonard Strand, of Sioux City, to replace U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett for the Northern District of Iowa. Strand was recommended by U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Grassley will consider the nomination of Strand before it goes before the full Senate for its approval. Strand graduated from the University of Iowa law school in 1990 and had a private practice before becoming a magistrate judge in 2012. Continue Reading

Armed Veteran Standing Guard at Des Moines Military Recruitment Center

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An armed Army veteran says he’s doing what he can to protect a military recruiting center in Des Moines. KCCI-TV reports veteran Kim Paulsen was spending time Tuesday pacing in front of a recruiting office, located in a strip mall in east Des Moines. Paulsen was dressed in military fatigues and carried a rifle as he walked on a sidewalk between parked cars and the recruiting center. He says, “I feel I need to be here, doing this,” because of the shooting deaths last week of four Marines and one Navy sailor at a recruiting office in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Paulsen says he hopes his presence will prevent a similar attack on the Des Moines office, where military personnel are not armed. Continue Reading

Sex Offender Fails to Return to Sioux City Work-Release

Officials say a sex offender has failed to return to a work-release program in Sioux City. Iowa Department of Corrections spokesman Fred Scaletta said 25-year-old Michael William Euchner II did not return to the Sioux City Residential Treatment Facility on Tuesday. Euchner began serving a 10-year sentence in 2009 after being convicted of third-degree sex abuse. On June 14 he was sentenced as a lifetime sex offender with special supervision. Authorities say Euchner is 6 feet, 3 inches tall, weighs 250 pounds and has brown hair and a tattoo on his left hand. Continue Reading