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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Iowa Department of Corrections

After sitting vacant for months due to construction delays, the new Iowa State Penitentiary is now up and running. The Iowa Department of Corrections transported 507 maximum security inmates on Saturday from the original prison to the new facility two miles north of Fort Madison.

Thursday, July 30 was the final day candidates could file their nominating petitions for the Sept. 8 school board election in Iowa.  On election day, county residents will have plenty of decisions to make.

July 30 was the final day candidates could file their nominating petitions for the Sept. 8 school board election in Iowa.  The two largest schools in the county (Fort Madison & Keokuk) have extremely crowded fields with twice as many candidates as open seats.

The list of criminal charges against former Burlington City Council member Chris King, 41, continues to grow. He is accused of having illegal sexual contact with several minors he met through his photography studio in Burlington.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Iowa Fertilizer Company's new production plant near Wever was evacuated at around 11:00 A.M. Tuesday.  The evacuation came less than a day after a bomb threat was discovered in a portable restroom on the construction site.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Rick Santorum and Martin O'Malley are polling quite low in the 2016 Presidential campaign, trailing front-runners such as Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Hillary Clinton. Despite that, they brought messages of enthusiasm and confidence to stops in Des Moines County.

Iowa Terry Branstad announced more than six months ago that he wanted to close the mental health institutes in Mount Pleasant and Clarinda. He kept his word because on July 1, they did not open, leaving dozens of employees without a job.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Steffensmeier Welding & Manufacturing has come a long way since the company was formed in 1982. Jenny Steffensmeier, who is President/Owner, said her late husband, Ben, started the company in a small welding shop about a mile from its current location near Pilot Grove, Ia.

www.flickr.com (USDA)

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has killed tens of millions of ash trees since it arrived in the United States in 2002. The small, metallic-green beetle was first discovered in Iowa in 2010 and now has made its way to Lee County.

www.flickr.com (Don DeBold)

The plan to construct Keokuk's first off-leash dog park in Riverview Park hit a bit of a snag as opposition surfaced to the proposed location. But that opposition could ultimately lead to a more favorable solution for all involved.

The Eighth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services announced in late June that it would be canceling a series of employee contracts connected to the drug courts in Fort Madison and Ottumwa to help close a roughly $265,000 budget shortfall.

But on July 2, Lee County's weekly Drug Court looked no different than it had during any previous session.

Iowa State Penitentiary

The Iowa Department of Corrections said that Justin Kestner, 25, was captured just south of Geneseo, Ill. at about 9:52 A.M. on Sunday, July 5.  Spokesman Fred Scaletta said Kestner escaped from the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison earlier that day.

Mississippi Valley Veterans Memorial Committee

The July 4th holiday has even more significance this year in West Burlington as a new memorial to local military veterans will be dedicated. The Mississippi Valley Veterans Memorial is a 92' long wall of grey granite with an eagle perched on top.

TSPR's Jason Parrott

Ken Marang is quick to point out how much he has enjoyed his time with the Fort Madison School District, in particular the students, the teachers, the school board, and the community.  But he said it's time to look to the future, which is why he will retire as superintendent on June 30, 2016.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Keokuk has gone without a city administrator since early 2008. City leaders hope to change that in the next few months.

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