Lee County’s Narcotics Task Force has arrested a Ft. Madison man on felony and misdemeanor drug charges, and they are NOT meth-related. 33-year old Robert Gram (of 2314 Avenue I) was apprehended late last week at his home and charged with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver within 1,000 Feet of a School and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. If he’s convicted of both counts, Gram could go to prison for more than 10 years. Continue Reading
Leaders of the Iowa Democratic Party are opening a discussion about how absentee voting might be allowed during the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.
Iowa Democratic Party chairman Scott Brennan says under the current rules, you must be present at your precinct on Caucus night in order to vote in the event which serves as the kick-off for the presidential nominating season. Critics say that disenfranchises Iowa soldiers who are on active duty and older Iowans who don’t want to venture out on a cold winter evening, plus Iowans who cannot get time off work to attend the Caucuses. Brennan has asked Norman Sterzenbach, the party’s former executive director, to conduct a “listening tour” to talk to “hundreds, if not thousands” of Iowans about how absentee voting might be incorporated in the Caucuses.
Absentee voting in the Caucuses has been discussed in the past, but abandoned for several reasons. Continue Reading
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission turned down the request from Cedar Rapids for a new gambling license, but the chair of the commission says that doesn’t mean they’re saying no to any new licenses this year.
The four commissioners who voted against a license for the facility in Linn County cited the impact the new casino would have on existing facilities in eastern Iowa. Commission chair, Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny, says it’s a whole new situation when they look at a request for a gambling license for Greene County in June. Lamberti says they will look at the proposal to build a Greene County casino near Jefferson based on its impact in that area. The commission members talked about what they see as the gambling market reaching a saturation point in making their decision on the Cedar Rapids license. Continue Reading
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
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
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
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
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.