Jason Parrott

Southeast Iowa Correspondent

Jason is the Southeast Iowa News Correspondent. He established Tri States Public Radio's news bureau in Keokuk in September 2003.  The bureau has moved from his apartment to the Hotel Iowa before landing in its current location at the Daily Gate City newspaper at 1016 Main.  Jason provides short- and long-form news coverage from southeast Iowa, northeast Missouri, and portions of west-central Illinois. Jason covers multiple governmental boards including the Keokuk City Council, the Lee County Board of Supervisors and the Burlington School Board. Jason was born in Burlington, IA and grew up in neighboring Henderson County before graduating from Monmouth High School.  He graduated from WIU in 2002 with Bachelor’s Degrees in Communications and History.  While in Macomb, he was a member of the WIU Track & Field team, serving as Captain during his senior year. Jason received his Master’s Degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield in 2003. He and his wife Jamie, a middle school teacher, have called Quincy home since 2007.  They have three dogs (Howie, Sunny and Sadie) and they volunteer with the Quincy Humane Society. During Jason’s free time, he enjoys watching sports, spending time with friends, playing fantasy football and traveling to the Lake of the Ozarks with his wife.

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Jason Parrott / TSPR

Iowa Fertilizer Company shut down construction at the site of its new plant in Lee County for at least the next few days.  The company released a statement Friday afternoon that said its "engineering, procurement and construction contractor has reassigned some of the work from a specific subcontractor to other subcontractors on site."

An arrest has been made in connection with a fatal shooting early Wednesday morning in Burlington. 

The Burlington Police Department announced late Wednesday evening that Maurice Green, 43, of Burlington was taken into custody in Galesburg and charged with 1st Degree Murder in the death of Matthew Banks, 28, also of Burlington.

The multiple entrances for each of Lee County's three most-frequented public buildings are considered potential safety threats due to the number of people using them each day. 

A plan to better secure them is now under consideration by the county, but it could be a couple weeks before it comes up for a vote.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Burlington School District has filled a pair of administrative vacancies.  And it's confident one hiring does not violate its own nepotism policy.

www.flickr.com / Southeastern Community College

No one was "tossing taters" around SCC's Loren Walker Gymnasium. But there were students from across southeast Iowa enjoying the college's first Tater Toss.

The privilege of casting a ballot in Lee County could soon get a little easier, thanks to the use of smartphones. And that will be possible once the county finalizes the purchase of 25 Model DS200 Digital Image Scanners from Election Systems & Software for nearly $200,000.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Clark County R-1 School District is preparing for an influx of new students from the nearby Luray School District.  About 40 K-8 students will be switching schools after residents of Luray voted to close their local school district because of increasing costs and decreasing enrollment numbers.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Bob Beck was all smiles as he stood before a crowd of about 30 people at the groundbreaking ceremony for the latest four-lane expansion of Highway 61 in Louisa County.

Beck, who chairs the Highway 61 Coalition, said it was a good day for drivers, for businesses, for residents, and for southeast Iowa as a whole.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Lee County Board of Supervisors broached the issue of building security during this week's meeting.  The discussion between the supervisors, the department heads, and other county employees covered a wide range of the usual topics.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The city of Keokuk still can't say when it will be able to reopen a small stretch of Fulton Street that has been closed to traffic for several years. A portion of the road collapsed following a hill-slide. Instead of repairing it, the city blocked it off with several concrete barriers.

Hamilton Superintendent Joe Yurko said the state of Illinois has shorted the school district about $600,000 over the last four years.  He said that's why the district needs to increase its education fund tax rate by $0.60 to $2.95.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The longer Matt McGhghy spoke about Bentley's Playground, the more emotional he became as he fought back tears of joy.  McGhghy says it's amazing how his hometown has gotten behind the effort to build a fully-accessible playground in Tolmie Park.

Mike Pribyl was surprised when he found out, last month that the Keokuk School Board had adopted a 1% income surtax to help pay for day-to-day educational needs.  He said what really struck him was how little the public knew about it.

West Burlington voters will decide on Tuesday, April 7 whether to give the local school district more money for technology. Superintendent Dave Schmitt said the money generated by a proposed tax increase is crucial to the district.

There is a new requirement for Burlington police officers following a fatal officer-involved shooting in January.  Chief Doug Beaird said all officers must take a U.S. Department of Justice training course on how to react to incidents in which a vicious dog is present.

"It's an online training," said Beaird.  "It's like (60-75 minutes) of different videos.  The Department of Justice worked with the Chicago Police Department and did some violent dog encounter-type training."

Beaird said the department is also trying to set up some hands-on training for officers.