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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Lee County must wait a little longer to put its proposed budget for next year on display.

The Board of Supervisors was ready to set a public hearing on the roughly $26-million spending for Tuesday, Feb. 21.

That plan changed, though, after the county received an email from the state that said its proposed property tax rate must be changed.

CPC Administrator Ryanne Wood says Lee County brings in tax revenue to help pay for day-to-day services for those with mental health or other developmental disabilities.

Around The Region

Feb 8, 2012

Keokuk

A 6th person has been arrested as part of a meth-making investigation in Keokuk.

Lindsay Riddle, 26, of 1813 Bank Street has been charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine near a city park and in the presence of a minor.

The Lee County Narcotics Task Force says she faces up to 35 years in prison.

Authorities discovered items used in the “shake-and-bake” method of meth production while executing a search warrant at Riddle’s residence last month.

 

Fort Madison

The Keokuk City Council will play “catch-up” when it comes to some capital projects.

Mayor Tom Marion says the city could not afford to purchase new vehicles or replace some heavy equipment in the current budget.

He says that will not be repeated in the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Marion says the age and condition of Keokuk’s vehicle fleet dictate spending nearly $2-million.

He says the city will try to obtain credit from local banks to pay for the capital expenses.

Des Moines County’s proposed budget for next year requires another round of cuts.

Chairman Tom Broeker says the Board of Supervisors requested departmental budgets that covered needs but did not include frivolous spending.

He says that is what the panel received, but cuts were still needed.

The Board of Supervisors trimmed the initial departmental requests by more than $500,000.

That includes about $400,000 in the maintenance department and about $110,000 in conservation.

The organization representing Southeastern Community College’s faculty says it is worried that President Beverly Simone is jeopardizing the college’s accreditation.

The SCC Higher Education Association has sent a letter to the college’s Board of Trustees outlining its latest concerns and some possible solutions.

The SCC HEA expressed no confidence in Dr. Simone last year.

The college’s Board of Trustees said, after several months, that it remains confident in her and her commitment to the college.

Around The Region

Feb 6, 2012

Keokuk

The Keokuk City Council has created an application for special events with alcohol.

The form is designed to help city staff keep up with requests.

It requires information such as date, time, location and estimated attendance.

The city council approved its first application shortly after creating the document.

It was on behalf of the annual Rollin on the River blues festival in Victory Park.

 

Keokuk

The Keokuk City Council has created a union negotiating committee.

A proposal in Des Moines could result in more money for Keokuk Area Hospital.

Rep. Jerry Kearns (D-Keokuk) has filed legislation asking the Iowa Department of Human Services to recalculate one of its hospital funding formulas.

He says the state makes money available to hospitals that do not receive adequate reimbursement for care of low income patients.

Kearns says that state funding can be used to leverage even more federal money.

The Keokuk City Council needs more information before acting on a rezoning request for a local business.

Saint Louis Gear Company would like to move its operations from Royal Road to the Faith Family Church along Main Street.

President Dan Hodges says his company has outgrown its current plant and he does not want to have to move outside of the city.

“Keokuk is my hometown and I want to continue to try to build jobs in Keokuk,” says Hodges.

The move would require about 5.5 acres of land be rezoned for industrial use.

Burlington’s upcoming budget is expected to include money for a popular community attraction.

The city’s current budget does not include any money for Dankwardt Pool.

The former city council felt the pool had reached the point where its condition did not justify further investments.

The only reason the pool opened its doors, last summer, was community support and donations.

Interim City Manager Dan Luttenegger says this city council does not want to repeat last year’s decision on Dankwardt Pool.

Around The Region

Feb 2, 2012

- Burlington -

Burlington has expanded its list of finalists for city manager.

The city council has decided to add Alan Lanning, who currently serves as City Manager of Central City, CO.

He replaces an individual who withdrew from consideration prior to the names of the finalists being released to the public.

Lanning and the other five finalists are scheduled to be in Burlington on February 17 & 18 for a series of interviews and public forums.

Police Chief Dan Luttenegger is serving as interim city manager.

 

- West Burlington -

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