WIUM Tristates Public Radio

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.

Ways to Connect

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Lee County Board will consider adding some new traffic signs around the Iowa Fertilizer Company plant near Wever. But the board is not willing to go any farther to address the company’s concerns about traffic safety.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Crews have been working at the former Unitarian Church at the corner of 4th and High Streets in Keokuk. City Administrator Aaron Burnett said they are not tearing down the vacant building.  Instead, they are removing asbestos from it.

A former inmate in the Lee County Jail has filed a federal lawsuit, claiming his civil rights were violated during a portion of his roughly ten-month incarceration.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Christine Barnes said her first week as superintendent of the Keokuk School District has been a whirlwind, meeting new people and learning about the district. She said it's also been exciting for the new opportunity that lies before her.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Burlington City Manager Jim Ferneau is resigning. He submitted his two-month notice to the city on Friday, Aug. 4.

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Lee County plans to comply with an order from the Iowa Supreme Court that bans weapons from courtrooms or areas occupied by court employees. But the head of the county board said that should not be interpreted as a ban on weapons from all county buildings.

Ian Poellet / https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Burlington_Fire-Police_Station_-_Burlington_Iowa.jpg

The federal government is willing to pick up most of the expenses related to hiring more firefighters in Burlington if the city is willing to handle the rest of the cost.

Three men face criminal charges for allegedly torturing an opossum while it was still alive. The attack was recorded and the video was posted online.

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Jen Loeb became the first woman from Iowa to climb Mount Everest, reaching the summit in the spring of 2016.  She said it was her love for the outdoors that led her to take up mountain climbing just six years earlier.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The future of the former Unitarian Church in Keokuk has been a topic of conversation amongst the city council for years. The time for talk came to an end Thursday night.

Harrison Monuments - Quincy/Warsaw

The Keokuk City Council will allow a monument honoring Tri-State Area musicians to be constructed along the Mississippi River, near the George M. Verity Riverboat Museum.

A Lee County man is accusing the state of Iowa of firing him from his job in the Department of Corrections for being a whistleblower.

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Senate Republicans are delaying a vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act until U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) recovers from recent surgery. Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA) said his colleagues need to think long and hard about their votes and how their decisions will affect people across the country.

A special election will be held August 8 to fill the 82nd District seat in the Iowa House of Representatives. Four people met Friday’s filing deadline to appear on the ballot.

The man who was shot by a Lee County Sheriff's Deputy last month pleaded not guilty to the three criminal charges against him. Joshua Welborn of Fort Madison is accused of burglary, criminal mischief, and assault on a peace officer.

Iowa Economic Development Authority

The Lee County Economic Development Group is trying to identify the county's top locations for large-scale economic development projects. The goal is for a "shovel-ready" location or two to possibly be included in the state's Certified Sites program.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Iowa Department of Corrections and the union representing its correctional officers are painting much different pictures of an apparent fight between inmates at the Iowa State Penitentiary.

A majority of the people who cast a ballot in the Fort Madison School District's special election on Tuesday supported the $27-million bond referendum. But it was not enough to make the project a reality.

The bond referendum received nearly 56% of the vote. 60% was needed to pass the bond referendum.

The money would have been used to build a new Pre-K - 3rd grade building to replace Lincoln and Richardson Elementaries.

Bond Referendum

Yes - 1517

No - 1210

Keokuk School District

The Keokuk School Board had a busy day Monday. It held one open session, two private interviews lasting more than two hours each, and a 90 minute closed door meeting. The result: the hiring of a new school superintendent.

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.

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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.

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