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 State Penitentiary says one of its minimum security inmates was captured shortly after walking away from his work detail in Fort Madison. Robert Juhl II was taken into custody after stealing a car.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

It has been a slow go for Fort Madison when it comes to the city's attempt to bring passenger rail service downtown. But there might soon be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The state of Iowa might provide a boost to the efforts of Historic Iowa State Penitentiary, which is the non-profit organization trying to find a new use for the former maximum security prison in Fort Madison. The city's tourism director, Jean Peiton, said a boost is exactly what is needed.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The agreement that created Lee County’s consolidated emergency dispatch center (LeeComm) is set to expire on June 30 and there is no deal in place to extend it that has the signature of all ten members. It appears that will not change anytime soon, which means the future of the system might soon be in the hands of a judge.

The Keokuk School District has spent the past few months filling some key administrative vacancies. That process unexpectedly grew this week following the resignation of High School Principal Zach Wigle.

The Keokuk School Board this week approved a new two-year contract with the Keokuk Education Association. The  agreement takes effect July 1, 2016.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Iowa Fertilizer Company's new production plant in northern Lee County remains a hub of activity with roughly 2,400 hundred workers on-site, but that activity revolves around construction, not production. The head of the company said the focus of the activity should change in a matter of months.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Southeast Iowa is seeing its fair share of upper-story housing projects with work underway on dozens of units in Burlington, Fort Madison, and Mount Pleasant. Now there is money available for developers focusing on smaller projects.

Dakota Access plans to begin construction in the next week or so on a new crude oil pipeline that would stretch from North Dakota to central Illinois. That's according to the firm hired by Lee County to keep tabs on the project on behalf of landowners.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Keokuk remains adamant it will not sign the proposed agreement to extend the countywide emergency dispatch center (LeeComm). But, it is confident that action taken Thursday night will show the other members of the dispatch center that Keokuk wants to remain a member.

The Iowa Department of Education this week released the latest graduation rates, and the numbers continue to show statewide improvement. The department said 90.8% of the students in the Class of 2015 received their diplomas last spring, a slight increase from the previous year.

The Des Moines County Sheriff's Office said the deaths of three people in a home near Danville are being treated as a double murder/suicide.

Keokuk Area Hospital has been trying for months to secure money from Lee County for use as a local match for some federal funding. It appears that effort is over -- at least for the time being.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Diana Fincher-Smith took over as the director of LeeComm in 2012. She said during the past four years, she has tried to create an atmosphere of fairness and equality for the people working at Lee County's centralized emergency dispatch center.

Burlington Police Dept.

A Fort Madison man was arrested over the weekend in connection with a series of armed robberies of gas stations in Burlington. Davon Mozie, 19, faces three counts of 2nd degree armed robbery.