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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Burlington has released the names of the five finalists for city manager.

Two are currently serving in an administrative capacity.

- Edward Sadler as City Manager in Webster City, Iowa.

- Steven Winger as City Administrator in Center Point, Iowa.

Two others recently left their positions in city government.

- Ronald Chandler served as City Manager in Cedar City, Utah until the first of the year.

- Robert Knabel (kuh-NAY-bull) left his post as Collinsville, Illinois City Manager in November.

Keeping up with new technology could require the Burlington School District to do more than just purchase equipment.

The school board unanimously approved the district’s latest technology plan.

The 12-page document focuses on hardware, content, access, professional development and support.

Superintendent Jane Evans says the district has consistently worked to add and/or upgrade its technology at each building.

She says that will require a review of Burlington’s staffing levels to see if additional employees are needed in the area of technology support.

Burlington is narrowing the field in its search for a new city manager.

The city council met behind closed doors for nearly an hour Monday night to discuss the candidates.

The panel emerged with a list of six finalists.

Interim City Manager Dan Luttenegger says the names of the candidates are expected to be made public later this week.

That would allow time for them to be notified.

Luttenegger says the finalists will visit Burlington on Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says a trip through Lee County shows his economic development policies are working.

The Governor and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds spent several hours talking to executives at employees at Pinnacle Foods and at Siemens on Friday.

They also toured both facilities and even participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a nearly 18,000 square foot expansion at Pinnacle.

The company spent roughly $20-million to build a new production line, which led to the creation of about 65 new jobs and the retention of several hundred more.

The Keokuk School District is proposing some major language changes in a new contract with its teachers.

The initial offer from the district to the Keokuk Education Association calls for a freeze in the base pay for new teachers.

It also seeks no movement on the salary schedule for experience or education.

The district also wants KEA members to start using direct deposit.

The most significant changes, though, come in the area of insurance.

Special events including alcohol can now be held at any public location in Keokuk.

An application for such events is now being developed.

The proposed application would be fairly simple.

It requires the name of the organization holding the special event, contact information, date, time and location.

Mayor Tom Marion says the idea is to help city staff keep track of event requests.

“(It would) give us advance notice so everything can be considered prior to the event itself,” says Marion, “because it would give us at least 60 days before the event.”

People  find different ways to relieve stress.

Some take a trip to  a spa for a bit of rest and relaxation. Others curl up on the couch  with a good book.

A group of women from the tri-states have  a slightly unorthodox method.

They lace up their roller skates  and beat the daylights out of each other.

Among them is Heather  Kath.

By  day, "Miss Heather" is the children's programmer  for the Quincy Public  Library, organizing activities such as story  time and summer reading  events.

The  Keokuk National Cemetery is the final resting place for more than  600 Union and Confederate soldiers.

Most of the soldiers  were from Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri.

A total of 17 states  are represented in the cemetery, though, including Ohio, Alabama,  and Texas.

A  special ceremony was held to bring those soldiers "home."

Soil  was collected from all 17 states. It was spread on the graves so  soldiers could be buried under their native soil.

March 28 marked the six month anniversary for Roquette America locking out roughly 240 union workers in Keokuk.  Hundreds of people from throughout the Midwest met in the southeast Iowa city over the weekend to stand in solidarity with the union.  The event also served as a rallying cry for the working class.

Supporters  honked their car horns as more than 400 people marched along Main  Street in downtown Keokuk.

The  demonstrators marched from  the Keokuk Labor Temple to the intersection  of 14th and Main and  back, carrying signs and chanting.

Wednesday night’s Keokuk Board of Adjustment meeting centered on two concepts: neighborhood integrity vs. business growth.

The board ended up signing off on an proposed expansion for Lexington Square, but the issue appears far from settled.

Julie Totten says her family bought its home at 17 Greenbrier Court in March of 2009.

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