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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No Phones in Work Zones
10:39 pm
Sun July 22, 2012

New Laws on Distracted Driving

Illinois drivers are coming under more pressure to slow down and stay off their cell phones.  

Governor Pat Quinn has signed four laws aimed at making roadways safer.  

"We want to have strict laws that deal with those who greatly exceed the speed limit and cause great harm and loss of life," says Quinn, "and we need to, I think, lay down strict guidelines for our judges and for those in the traffic courts across Illinois, so they know what the rules are."  

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Based on Recent Study
10:17 pm
Sun July 22, 2012

FM Annexation Incentives

City Manager Byron Smith (Fort Madison)

Fort Madison wants to make it more enticing for rural property owners to join the city.

The city council has signed off on a series of incentives available to those interested in voluntarily annexing into the city.

City Manager Byron Smith says the incentives include the gradual phasing in of the city’s property tax rate and the possibility of offering a specific zoning designation for a property.

They also allow the city to cover certain legal expenses and reduce utility connection fees.     

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Pledges to Pay 20% of Premium
9:51 pm
Sun July 22, 2012

Branstad Wants Employees to Pay More

Governor Terry Branstad (R-Iowa) in Fort Madison

Governor Terry Branstad (R-Iowa) says he will seek a key provision in future contracts with union employees.

Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds (R-Iowa) say they will start paying 20% of their health insurance premiums next month.

The Governor told a crowd in Fort Madison that Iowa could save $100-million if every state employee followed their lead.

“But I don’t expect a lot of rank-and-file workers will do it immediately,” says Branstad, “but down the road, most people in the private sector are paying more than that so we think in the future that makes sense.”

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New Contract, CWD, School Lunch, Guard Fired
6:48 pm
Sun July 22, 2012

Around The Region

A quick look at news from around the Tri-State Region 

KEOKUK, IA

Members of United Steelworkers Local 444 have ratified a new contract with Henniges Automotive.

The union represents more than 400 workers at the auto-parts supplier in Keokuk.

Employees had been working under their previous contract after rejecting an earlier offer roughly two weeks ago.

DAVIS COUNTY, IA

A hunting preserve in Davis County is under quarantine after a white-tail deer tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.

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Great Year for Hotel/Motel Tax Revenue
6:29 pm
Sun July 22, 2012

Keokuk Boosting Tourism Funding

Keokuk is putting more money into tourism efforts as the city council has agreed to boost funding for the Convention and Tourism Bureau by $7,000.

The increase would bring the total for the current fiscal year to $140,000.

Tourism Director Kirk Brandenberger requested the increase based on Keokuk’s last fiscal year being its best ever when it comes to hotel-motel tax revenue.

He says the tax generated $276,000, which is up from the projected total of $260,000.

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