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

A downtown district's success depends a lot on whether people can easily access its retail shops and restaurants. A couple local cities are taking steps to make sure anyone who wants to visit their downtown districts can find a place to park.

It was not your typical Tuesday afternoon at Beef, Bread & Brew in Keokuk. The parking lot was filled, the nearby side streets were lined with vehicles, and a major cable network had a satellite truck parked outside. The restaurant was filled with more than 100 people eager to meet U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who brought his Presidential campaign to Lee County.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Montrose closed a portion of River Road south of the city in June after heavy rain washed away a portion of the street. It remains closed because the city has said it cannot afford to repair it -- those repairs would likely include stabilization of the hill above and below the road.

First Ward Alderman Mike O'Connor said the Keokuk City Council's decision to offer the job of city administrator to Aaron Burnett is a big deal for the city and its residents.  "I think we are giving the city and the people of Keokuk an early Christmas present," said O'Connor.


Southeastern Community College (SCC) is in the midst of a multi-million dollar makeover, adding several new educational buildings to its campuses in West Burlington and Keokuk. Now, a four-story residence hall on the West Burlington campus has been added to the so-called "Building the Dream" campaign.

Keokuk appears to be on the verge of having a city administrator after nearly a decade without one.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Steve Bisenius admitted early on in his presentation to the Keokuk City Council that he would not be able to get into specifics about the businesses that are showing an interest in the city. But the head of the Lee County Economic Development Group (LCEDG) said they are out there and there is a lot of activity going on behind-the-scenes.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) arrived at the Hawkeye Restaurant in Keokuk about 45 minutes early for his town hall meeting Tuesday night. He spent part of his extra time going table to table, greeting locals as they enjoyed their dinners, just what you would expect from someone running for President to do while in Iowa.

The Burlington Police Department has identified a person of interest in a shooting that occurred early Tuesday morning in the 300 block of Curran Street. The victim, only identified as a 43-year-old male, is recovering after being shot in the head.

Mayor Tom Marion is confident Keokuk will announce the hiring of its new city administrator within the next two weeks. His declaration comes as the first round of in-person interviews is set to begin.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Keokuk School Board has a new look following the Sept. 8 election as voters chose four new members to represent them. In the process, they removed a pair of incumbents and decided not to return a former board president to office.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Lee County Economic Development Group (LCEDG) declared 2015 as a year of action, be it by trying to retain existing jobs and businesses or recruiting new ones. The organization will also spend the rest of the year offering a workforce training opportunity in the form of Manufacturing 101.

A former Lee County Conservation employee feels she is out of work because she is a woman and because she was a "whistle-blower" during her 16 years on the job. Now, Diana Verdught is fighting to get back her job and the money she lost since early January 2014.

The deadline has passed to file for the Nov. 3, 2015 municipal elections in Iowa. More than 50 people turned in nominating petitions in Des Moines and Lee Counties. Despite the response, there will only be a handful of contested races on the ballot, with several communities having no one file to run for office.

A Burlington man will remain in prison after the Iowa Court of Appeals upheld his 2013 murder conviction. Chico Newman was charged with killing his wife, Crystal  Newman, in their home in the early morning hours of Aug. 9, 2012.