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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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The Iowa Attorney General's Office announced Thursday afternoon it had completed its investigation of an officer-involved shooting that happened in Lee County on June 12. The result:  the AG's office believes the actions taken by the two sheriff's deputies involved in the incident were legally justified.

The Keokuk School Board met behind closed doors for more than two hours Wednesday night, narrowing the field of candidates in its search for the district's next superintendent. The board settled on two candidates: Kathy Dinger and Christine Barnes.

The Lee County Board of Health made public, Monday afternoon, the results of an air quality test conducted April 24 at the health department’s former location (2218 Ave. H) in Fort Madison.

The Keokuk School Board could announce the finalists in its search for a new school superintendent within the next couple days, and the board still hopes to achieve its goal of offering the job before July 1.

The city of Keokuk does not believe its residents and businesses should be forced to reimburse a utility company nearly $600,000 for legal expenses and other fees on top of a natural gas rate hike. So it's asking the court system to get involved.

The Burlington Police Department announced Monday morning that human remains found at Lake West in June 2016 belong to a missing Burlington man.

Iowa DOC

The Lee County Board of Health signed a three-year lease with the Iowa Department of Corrections for use of a portion of the former Iowa State Penitentiary in downtown Fort Madison.

The Keokuk School District received applications from 15 candidates interested in becoming the district's next superintendent.  School Board President Janne Long said those applications have been reviewed by more than a dozen school board members, district administrators, and central office staff to determine if the candidates are qualified and meet the district's experience requirements.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/teamaskins/

Lee County Board members said they want to get it right the first time when the board establishes an animal control ordinance. So a vote on the proposal was pushed back a week to allow for a final review to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Community Health Centers of Southeastern Iowa (CHC) is moving ahead with its plan for a new dental clinic in Keokuk.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Organizers of the first Keokuk Rocks the Arts weekend want to see the community filled with out-of-town visitors and residents enjoying what Keokuk has to offer.

The city of Keokuk is gaining both support and opposition in its request for a new hearing before the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) regarding a natural gas rate hike.

https://www.facebook.com/BuildingBridgesYHFS/

Vern Reed is confident that what started out as a professional development session for his job at West Burlington High School is transforming southeast Iowa. He’s sure that will continue as more and more people learn about Bridges out of Poverty and the resulting local initiative: Building Bridges.

By Frode Ramone from Oslo, Norway - DSCF0673.jpg, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46979581

A plan to put some teeth into Lee County's animal control ordinance will likely be scaled back before it comes up for a vote.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Lee County Attorney's Office has dropped the criminal charges against five more people arrested last fall for protesting construction of the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline.

WIU

The West Burlington City Council is revamping the city's rules regarding fireworks in response to state lawmakers legalizing the sale, purchase and use of "consumer fireworks" in Iowa. Consumer fireworks include bottle rockets, roman candles, and firecrackers.

The city of Keokuk wants a new hearing before the Iowa Utilities Board, hoping to at least slightly reduce natural gas bills for residents and businesses.

A Lee County man is suing the city of Donnellson for breach of contract.  Jason Dunagan said in a lawsuit filed this month that the city offered him the job of police chief in early March. He said his employment was to last five years.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The two highest-ranking members of the Lee County Attorney's office officially traded jobs this week, making Clinton Boddicker the county's third lead prosecutor in 2017.

A judge ordered Midwest Academy to pay former employee Cheyenne Jerred $748,800 in her whistleblower lawsuit against the shuttered Lee County boarding school for troubled teens.

The Iowa Utilities Board will allow Liberty Utilities to increase monthly natural gas rates for customers in and around Keokuk. The decision has city leaders considering legal action.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Keokuk School Board accepted the resignation of Tim Hood as Superintendent following a nearly two-hour closed door meeting. The board also released him from the final year of his contract so he can take a similar job in southwest Iowa.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Keokuk School District and the Keokuk Education Association are negotiating teacher salaries despite the two sides already having a contract in place for the 2017/2018 school year.

Lee County residents decided during Tuesday's special election that they want a new county attorney, but do not want to pay for a new home for the county health department.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

A new multi-agency partnership in Keokuk could lead to the construction of new homes within the city. It's called the Keokuk Housing Initiative (KHI).

Tuesday's special election in Lee County includes a $2.6 million bond referendum to construct a new building for the county health department. The agency believes the building is needed because it has simply outgrown its current location.

Lewis County Sheriff's Office

The Lewis County (MO) Sheriff's Office announced Friday afternoon that it arrested Cody Wilson, 19, of Canton, Mo. for First Degree Murder. Wilson is accused of killing his step-father in their home Thursday night.

It appears Superintendent Tim Hood is poised to leave the Keokuk School District for a new job in southwest Iowa. But that new job is contingent upon his release from his current contract.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Ameren Missouri confirmed Sunday morning that search and rescue crews had recovered the body of one of its employees from the Mississippi River. The company said in a statement that Ron Summers, 75, went missing while at work.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Lee County Health Department has vacated its building at 2218 Avenue H in Fort Madison. It's unclear how long the department will be displaced and what prompted the decision.

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