WIUM Tristates Public Radio

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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Republican Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the race for President in the Hawkeye State by about 10 percentage points. That momentum carried over to the local races in the southeast corner of the state.

Republican Donald Trump won the state of Missouri overwhelmingly over Democrat Hillary Clinton, and the GOP continued the dominance up and down the ballot.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Emmanuel United Methodist Church is opening its doors to residents of Keokuk and the surrounding community on Election Day, just as it has for decades. The church expects to serve hundreds of bowls of chili and vegetable soup as part of its 36th Election Day Chili Feed.

Lee County residents are being asked to decide whether the county should borrow up to $8.5-million dollars to build a new courthouse and renovate another building. Plenty of current and former elected leaders are using their wallets to try to sway public opinion.

It took a jury about three hours to return a guilty verdict against Mike Pieper following a week-long trial in North Lee County District Court. Pieper was charged with felonious misconduct in office during his time as chairman of the Green Bay Levee and Drainage District.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The future of the South Lee County Courthouse in Keokuk hinges on the results of the Nov. 8 election as residents will decide whether the county should borrow about $8.5-million for a new courthouse. Dave Barrett of Keokuk said if the current facility is no longer needed by the county, he believes he can turn it into an asset for the entire community.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Hundreds of people from across the country traveled to Lee County, Iowa during the past two months to try to stop the construction of a crude oil pipeline through four Midwest states. It now appears that effort is over and demonstrators are moving on to other locations.

A whistleblower lawsuit filed against Lee County will go to trial in late November. This comes after a judge denied an attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Opponents of the nearly 1,200 mile crude oil pipeline being built through four Midwest states say they’ve been able to halt the boring under the Mississippi River in Lee County, Iowa by blocking access to a gravel road. But the company behind the roughly $4 billion project said that's not the case.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Students from throughout Lee County could soon hold a new title: Guinness World Record Holder. That's because hundreds of them participated in an attempt this week to break the record for most people simultaneously planting flower bulbs at one time.

The chairman of the Lee County Board announced Wednesday that a potential re-use for the South Lee County Courthouse in Keokuk has emerged. It would only be needed, though, if voters approve a nearly $9 million bond referendum for a new courthouse on Nov. 8.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Harvest season is a busy time as farmers rush to get their crops out of the field before that first freeze. This week, it also proved to be a time of community and friendship for a family in rural Lee County.

Keokuk Health Systems appears to be on track to become an affiliate of UnityPoint Health. The two sides signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding that will allow for continued negotiations.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Opponents of the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline have maintained an around-the-clock encampment for several weeks in a ditch near one of the construction sites in Lee County. That could be coming to an end following the issuance of an eviction notice.

Kenneth Rosa took the oath of office as Fort Madison’s new Police Chief Monday morning. Two days later, the city named his successor.

Van Buren County Attorney Abraham Watkins will have to defend himself against claims of sexual harassment and working while intoxicated.

The primary suspect in the fatal shooting of a woman in Keokuk early Sunday morning apparently took his own life that same day.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The city of Fort Madison said Thursday it will work with a local landfill to make sure proper policies are in place following the posting of a disturbing photo on social media.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Lee County is well aware of the environmental problems created by the lack of a sewer system in a small, unincorporated community near Keokuk and is getting ready to take action.

Jerry Kearns - Keokuk

The Iowa Supreme Court heard oral arguments for one case at the Grand Theater in Keokuk this week. The head of the court said it's part of a continued effort to show Iowa residents how the legal system operates.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The around-the-clock encampment near the site in Lee County where the Dakota Access pipeline will cross the Mississippi River swelled to more than 250 people last Saturday morning and afternoon. Opponents of the pipeline said even more people are needed if they are going to permanently halt construction.

Lee County/The Design Partnership Architects

The Lee County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday received its first look at the conceptual design for a single county courthouse. Residents are being asked to decide if the county should borrow nearly $9 million to build it.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Joseph Ryan of St. Louis, MO, caravanned with about ten people to demonstrate at the site in Lee County, IA, where the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline is supposed to cross the Mississippi River. He said he was prepared to do whatever it took to defend the planet and save its water.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Liberty Utilities is asking the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) for permission to increase natural gas rates for customers in Keokuk and Montrose by enough to generate an additional $1 million annually in revenue. Keokuk residents and business owners say such a large increase would harm families and the entire community.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Public opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline is growing in the tri states region, be it through marches or vigils.   Pipeline opponents hope that continues this weekend when their efforts move to the next step: civil disobedience.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Jessica Reznicek, 35, of Des Moines arrived in Lee County about two weeks ago. Since then, she has made herself known to the region as a supporter of the Mississippi River and an opponent of the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline.

Facebook - Raise the Wage Lee County

An effort is underway in Lee County to increase the local minimum wage, which currently sits at $7.25/hour, the same as the statewide rate. Supporters say an increase would help hard-working people throughout the county.

Keokuk Union Depot Facebook Page

A crowd of more than 100 people gathered Wednesday afternoon to watch as workers added the roughly 26-foot steeple to the former Keokuk Union Depot along the Mississippi River. One spectator said he would not have missed it for the world.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The America's First Great Dam Museum began as a temporary display during the 100th anniversary celebration for the dam spanning the Mississippi River between Keokuk and Hamilton. Supporters believe it will soon become a destination point for visitors to the Tri States region.

The city of Keokuk is denying any involvement in the sale of a private airplane housed at its airport without the owner's permission.

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