money in the hands

Two Rivers Insurance Under Investigation; Accused of Overbilling Gov’t Workers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Insurance Division is investigating an insurance agency that’s accused of overbilling thousands of government employees for health care coverage. The Des Moines Register says the division is focused on Two Rivers Insurance Co. The agency had been acting as an independent agent selling insurance for Wellmark and other companies.  

Wellmark spokesman Traci McBee says Wellmark ended its relationship with Two Rivers on April 9 because Two Rivers had “marked up some of its customers’ health insurance premiums without Wellmark’s knowledge.”  

Todd Ackerman of Two Rivers said the company “categorically disagrees” with Wellmark’s conclusion. Continue Reading

fire

Lee County Burn Ban Could be Lifted Monday

According to Lee County Emergency Management, the burn ban that was put into place last week could be lifted Monday, April 21st. According to a press release, the ban will only be lifted if there are no changes to the weather forecast. We’ll keep you up to date. For more information you can call Lee County Emergency Management at 319-372-4124. Continue Reading

drugss

Keokuk and Argyle Resident Arrested for Drugs

It’s been a busy day so far for Lee County’s Narcotics Task Force. The first arrest reported today was a Keokuk man on drug charges,

24-year-old Austin Schuelka of Keokuk was arrested at his home this morning and charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana while in Possession of a Firearm, a Drug Tax Stamp Violation, Maintaining a Drug House, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. If convicted of all charges, he could face a little over 17 years in prison.  

Also arrested, in an unrelated case,  was an Argyle woman on misdemeanor drug charges. 23-year-old Addison McFerren has been charged with three counts of Prohibited Acts. Continue Reading

jobs

Job Fair Tomorrow in Fort Madison

Good news on the unemployment front for Lee County. According to Iowa Workforce Development’s latest unemployment reports, which are from February, Lee County’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.1%. This is down from 8.2% in January and 8.8% of February 2013. However, if you’re still without work, Temp Associates is having a job fair in Fort Madison tomorrow morning according to Jan Atkins… Atkins, who is with Temp Associates, says they’re primarily interviewing for the Fort Madison area. Continue Reading

Trail Through Corn Field

Just 1% of IL Corn Planted

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State agriculture officials say wet, cold weather has kept Illinois farmers out of their fields this spring. Only 1 percent of the corn crop has been planted. The Illinois Department of Agriculture contends Monday in its weekly crop report that typically about 10 percent of the statewide corn crop would be in the fields by mid-April.  

Farmers, last year, also had a slow start planting corn. Continue Reading

DAS Bosses to Return to Hearing

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two top managers at the Iowa Department of Administrative Services have been asked to return for a second day of questioning before a joint legislative oversight committee.  

Doug Woodley and Paul Carlson didn’t help lawmakers clarify the big question: who authorized settlement agreements in which money was paid for secrecy.  

The focus seemed to turn once again to a former DAS attorney, Ryan Lamb, who now works for a construction contractor. Senate Oversight Committee leaders say they’ll ask Lamb to appear.  

Woodley and Carlson spent nearly two hours before the committee. Continue Reading

spring

Wacky Iowa Weather Continues

It was a wild weather weekend for many Iowans, with a little something for everyone, including near-record high temperatures, thunderstorms, flooding, high winds, hail and snow. A tornado touched down around 6 P-M Sunday near Lone Tree in eastern Iowa’s Johnson County, but no damage was reported. Meteorologist Craig Cogil, at the National Weather Service, says it went from balmy to frigid pretty quickly. “On Saturday, we saw highs in the state well into the 70s and up into the mid 80s, since that time, it’s been downhill to where temperatures in the state this morning are anywhere from the mid 30s in the southeast to mid 20s in the northwest, so a good 50-degree drop in some locations.” Some Iowans up north awoke today to see their newly-sprouted green grass and tulip leaves covered with a white blanket of snow. Continue Reading

Ryan Says “Good” Not Good Enough — GOP Must Be Great

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is urging his fellow Republicans to be the “great alternative party” and to unify for the 2014 election. Ryan — the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2012 — spoke to a crowd of over 350 at fundraiser in Cedar Rapids for the Iowa G-O-P. Ryan began his speech with a short lament about the outcome of the 2012 presidential election and Ryan mentioned the budget plan he championed that passed the Republican-led House this week. But Ryan dedicated much of his remarks to a vision for the party’s future. A group of protesters gathered across the street from the hotel ballroom where Ryan spoke, criticizing what they called Ryan’s “reckless, dangerous…anti-middle class budget plan.” Continue Reading

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Where to Hunt for Eggs Saturday…

It may not be Easter yet, but it will feel like it this Saturday in southeast Iowa. Several communities will be having their annual Easter Egg Hunts. In Burlington, there’s the Beaster Bunny 5K that starts at 8am with an egg hunt at the Rec Plex. For more info go to teambeast.org. Also in Burlington, at the HyVee on Agency, there will be around 5,000 eggs to pursue starting at noon. Continue Reading