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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 city of Keokuk is gaining both support and opposition in its request for a new hearing before the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) regarding a natural gas rate hike.

https://www.facebook.com/BuildingBridgesYHFS/

Vern Reed is confident that what started out as a professional development session for his job at West Burlington High School is transforming southeast Iowa. He’s sure that will continue as more and more people learn about Bridges out of Poverty and the resulting local initiative: Building Bridges.

By Frode Ramone from Oslo, Norway - DSCF0673.jpg, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46979581

A plan to put some teeth into Lee County's animal control ordinance will likely be scaled back before it comes up for a vote.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Lee County Attorney's Office has dropped the criminal charges against five more people arrested last fall for protesting construction of the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline.

WIU

The West Burlington City Council is revamping the city's rules regarding fireworks in response to state lawmakers legalizing the sale, purchase and use of "consumer fireworks" in Iowa. Consumer fireworks include bottle rockets, roman candles, and firecrackers.

The city of Keokuk wants a new hearing before the Iowa Utilities Board, hoping to at least slightly reduce natural gas bills for residents and businesses.

A Lee County man is suing the city of Donnellson for breach of contract.  Jason Dunagan said in a lawsuit filed this month that the city offered him the job of police chief in early March. He said his employment was to last five years.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The two highest-ranking members of the Lee County Attorney's office officially traded jobs this week, making Clinton Boddicker the county's third lead prosecutor in 2017.

A judge ordered Midwest Academy to pay former employee Cheyenne Jerred $748,800 in her whistleblower lawsuit against the shuttered Lee County boarding school for troubled teens.

The Iowa Utilities Board will allow Liberty Utilities to increase monthly natural gas rates for customers in and around Keokuk. The decision has city leaders considering legal action.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Keokuk School Board accepted the resignation of Tim Hood as Superintendent following a nearly two-hour closed door meeting. The board also released him from the final year of his contract so he can take a similar job in southwest Iowa.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Keokuk School District and the Keokuk Education Association are negotiating teacher salaries despite the two sides already having a contract in place for the 2017/2018 school year.

Lee County residents decided during Tuesday's special election that they want a new county attorney, but do not want to pay for a new home for the county health department.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

A new multi-agency partnership in Keokuk could lead to the construction of new homes within the city. It's called the Keokuk Housing Initiative (KHI).

Tuesday's special election in Lee County includes a $2.6 million bond referendum to construct a new building for the county health department. The agency believes the building is needed because it has simply outgrown its current location.

Lewis County Sheriff's Office

The Lewis County (MO) Sheriff's Office announced Friday afternoon that it arrested Cody Wilson, 19, of Canton, Mo. for First Degree Murder. Wilson is accused of killing his step-father in their home Thursday night.

It appears Superintendent Tim Hood is poised to leave the Keokuk School District for a new job in southwest Iowa. But that new job is contingent upon his release from his current contract.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Ameren Missouri confirmed Sunday morning that search and rescue crews had recovered the body of one of its employees from the Mississippi River. The company said in a statement that Ron Summers, 75, went missing while at work.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Lee County Health Department has vacated its building at 2218 Avenue H in Fort Madison. It's unclear how long the department will be displaced and what prompted the decision.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Representatives of Iowa Fertilizer Company joined local and state leaders on Nov. 19, 2013 to break ground on a new production facility in Lee County. Nearly 4 1/2 years later, IFC celebrated the start of fertilizer production at the plant near Wever.

Early voting is underway in Lee County ahead of the May 2 special election. The ballot includes a contested race for county attorney between current prosecutor Ross Braden of West Point and assistant county attorney Clinton Boddicker of Keokuk.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner visited Quincy as part of a ten-stop tour of the state. He used the event at Titan International to tout his efforts to help local workers and to bash the “career politicians in Springfield.”

State Senator Rich Taylor (D-Mt. Pleasant) believes Iowa's Medicaid system is failing because of the decision to privatize it and that it could take federal intervention to save it.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Keokuk Municipal Waterworks is planning to offer a refund to certain customers if they sign up for a new billing program.

The Clark County School District will be able to borrow $8-million dollars for facility needs and a new building while voters in Alexandria and Luray decided they should be able to skip uncontested elections in the future. The mayors of Canton and LaBelle won re-election while a tie vote might have to be resolved in Wayland.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The city of Keokuk says its residents and businesses should not be on the hook for the extra fees associated with a utility company's plan to increase natural gas rates. So it filed an objection with the Iowa Utilities Board on March 30.

Lauren Zechin / Daily Gate City

The Keokuk Police Department confirmed Thursday afternoon that a body found near Lock & Dam 19 the previous day is that of Ron Wagner of Montrose, who went missing nearly three months ago.

The April 4th ballot in Hancock County includes a referendum asking residents to aprove creation of a 1% sales tax to fund school facility needs. The tax could generate more than $700,000 annually.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The city of Keokuk plans to remain proactive in addressing dilapidated buildings and nuisance properties. The most recent example: a pair of buildings that once stood at the corner of South 7th and Main Streets.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The members of the Lee County Board want to know why the county is not being reimbursed for all of its expenses related to construction of the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline. They say local tax dollars should not be spent in any way on the project.

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