police-lights

Illinois State Police Cracking Down on Western Illinois

During the month of May, which is only a couple days away, the Illinois State Police will conduct alcohol Countermeasure enforcement patrols in McDonough County. The purpose is to prevent and enforce violations associated with impaired driving. Across the county, an average of one alcohol related death occurs every 51 minutes. Continue Reading

police-lights

One Dead After Head on Collision in Niota, Illinois

One person is dead after a head on collision today in Niota, Illinois. 63-year-old Frank Palm of Niota was west bound on IL. Route 9/96 in Hancock County when he attempted to turn left in front of 33-year-old Amber Armitage of Dallas City who was east bound. They collided head on. Both vehicles came to a rest in the intersection. Continue Reading

GOP U-S Senate Candidates Answer Family Leader Questions

Four Republicans competing for their party’s 2014 U.S. Senate nomination gathered at Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny for a forum.  

The first question invited each candidate to describe a time or event in their life that shaped them into the person they are today. Matt Whitaker said it was when he met his wife, Marci. Mark Jacobs talked of going through a period of self-reflection after retiring three years ago and sitting down at one point to write his own obituary. Joni Ernst said her formative life experience came when she went on a college exchange to a collective farm in the Ukraine. Continue Reading

pikes-peak-state-park

Iowa Champion Tree Found Toppled on Arbor Day

On this Arbor Day, there’s discouraging news that one of Iowa’s two national champion trees is damaged beyond repair. A team of tree experts went to a remote area near Pikes Peak State Park in northeast Iowa this week, intending to save the black ash tree and instead, found it broken into pieces. Mark Rouw says he was stunned. “I was really kind of in disbelief, but there’s no denying it, it was down, it’s gone,” Rouw says. “We’ve lost a national champion in Iowa and we don’t have many of those. Continue Reading

drugs

FM Man Could Serve 10 Years in Prison for Weed

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

caucus

IA Dems Revisit Absentee Caucus Voting

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

IRGC Says No to C. Rapids Casino

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

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