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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 Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) has identified the victim of a homicide in Keokuk as Lori Williams, 54, of 222 Concert Street.  Keokuk police found Williams' body in her home Monday morning.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Tammy McCoy did not have a lot of time to sit back and relax during the first Battle of the Brushes in downtown Burlington. As director of the Burlington Art Center, she did her best to make sure the larger than expected crowd was having a good time.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Nick Ludwick's final day on the job as Warden at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison is Friday, Jan. 27. He's retiring after a four decade career in corrections in Michigan and Iowa.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Lee County Board is considering a proposal to spend $800,000 on its buildings over the next 18 months.  The county's maintenance department included $400,000 in its proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018, which begins July 1, 2017. It also would like to spend an additional $400,000 to its FY17 budget.

A Keokuk chiropractor must pay a $500 fine as part of a settlement with the Iowa Board of Chiropractic.

Burlington Police Dept.

The Burlington Police Department has charged two men in connection with the death of Kedarie Johnson, 16, of Burlington in March 2016.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The city of Keokuk has hired Keokuk Contractors to demolish the former Elks Lodge at 601 Blondeau Street. The building, which was built in 1911, is more commonly known to many in the area as the former Palace nightclub.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Lee County is taking legal action to try to stop the polluting of Chatfield Lake.  County Attorney Mike Short filed a lawsuit Friday morning against Richard and Wilma Moore of Keokuk. The Moores own three homes along Lake Road in the unincorporated town of Mooar.

Abraham Watkins is no longer the County Attorney in Van Buren County. District court Judge James Drew this week ordered Watkins’ removal from office over multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Lee County Attorney Mike Short submitted to the county his letter of resignation Tuesday morning. He said the time has come for him to retire.

Lauren Zechin / Daily Gate City

The search has been called off for two men reported missing Tuesday afternoon after their boat capsized in the Mississippi River near Montrose.

The men's basketball team at Southeastern Community College is beginning 2017 with a new head coach, following the retirement of Terry Carroll after ten years at the helm. Assistant Coach Lorenzo Watkins has been named Interim Head Coach.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Voters told the Lee County Board in November to repair the county’s historic courthouses in Keokuk and Fort Madison instead of building a new courthouse near the county jail. The board appears to be listening, as it approved the hiring of a construction manager, this week, to prioritize and oversee upcoming projects.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Iowa Fertilizer Company broke ground on its roughly $2-billion production plant in 2012. Four years later, the company is preparing to bring the plant online.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Lee County Sheriff Jim Sholl is hanging up his badge, retiring after a nearly 30 year career in law enforcement. Sholl said he is filled with mixed emotions as he nears his final day on the job.

The Keokuk School District is expected to be without its top administrator for at least the next four weeks as Superintendent Tim Hood will be goes on medical leave. No further details regarding the incident were provided as the district due to employee privacy.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The future of the former Unitarian Church in Keokuk has been a topic of conversation for years. Will it be demolished or restored to its previous glory? A judge ruled Tuesday afternoon that whatever the future holds, a decision must be made soon given the condition of the building at 428 N. 4th St.

Janet Smith / Keokuk Union Depot Foundation

The effort to raise money to pay for the restoration of the Keokuk Union Depot’s roof has reached a milestone. But there is still more work to do before the fundraising is complete.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

City Administrator Aaron Burnett said when he first arrived in Keokuk, he noticed the number of vacant commercial buildings along the Main Street Corridor. He said that’s why finding a new use for those sites -- be it through renovation or demolition -- is a priority for the city and its elected leaders.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad often speaks of his 30-year friendship with the President of China, Xi Jinping. It now appears that relationship is opening up a new opportunity for the longest serving governor in U.S. history.

Residents of two southeast Iowa school districts went to the polls, Tuesday, and rejected plans for each district to borrow millions of dollars for facility improvements.

www.tristateofmind.org

The head of the U.S. Economic Development Administration is preparing for a change in leadership for his agency following the election of Donald Trump as President. Jay Williams is confident, though, that the EDA efforts currently underway would succeed under the new administration.

Lewis County Sheriff's Office

A Culver-Stockton College student faces gun-related charges in connection with an incident that led to the campus in Canton, Missouri being locked down for nearly three hours Tuesday night.

Daily Gate City

The announcement in late September of a change in leadership at the top of the Lee County Economic Development Group caught many off-guard, including the local governments that fund the organization. Now, LCEDG is defending its decision while its former leader is speaking out.

More than 600 households in Keokuk that had been paying a discounted rate for garbage services could soon see an increase in their bills following  a report from the State Auditor of Iowa.

Autumn Steele was shot and killed outside of her home by a Burlington police officer in Jan. 2015. Her family is now suing the city and the officer involved.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Iowa Utilities Board has selected a new location for its hearing on Liberty Utilities’ request to increase natural gas rates in and around Keokuk. The hearing will be held at the Grand Theater in Keokuk Feb. 22 and 23, 2017.

The Burlington Police Department announced Tuesday evening the arrest of three men in connection with a shooting at 421 S. Garfield Ave. earlier in the day. The shooting was one of three in the city in a 12 hour span that left one person dead and two injured.

Daily Gate City

The company attempting to purchase Keokuk Steel Castings will not have to reveal any additional financial information to the Lee County Board.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Burlington Public Library moved from its former location on 4th Street to its Court Street location ten years ago this month. Library Director Rhonda Frevert said usage continues to rise with more than 700 people walking through the doors on a daily basis.

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