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.

Ways to Connect

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Hundreds of people filled downtown Burlington Friday night for the unveiling of the Downtown Burlington Lightscape Project. Organizers says it was the culmination of five years of hard work and a sign of what's to come for the district.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

A judge has ordered the demolition of a former can and bottle redemption center in downtown Keokuk as well as a neighboring building along Main Street. The owner of the buildings must also clean up four other properties he owns in Keokuk.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Farmers Market season is in full swing throughout the Tri State region. You can find vendors and customers in Keokuk, Fort Madison, Burlington, Quincy, Macomb, Galesburg, Monmouth, and many more communities.  The list of items for sale is just as long, from baked goods to vegetables, fresh fruit to wood carvings.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

David Harrison of Keokuk was just 18 when he broke his leg while serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. More than 65 years later, he’s being honored for that service to his country.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Lee County Board of Supervisors voted to place a nearly $9 million bond referendum for a new courthouse on the November ballot without knowing what the building might look like. But it appears that will soon be resolved because the county accepted a proposal to develop a preliminary design.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The city of Keokuk filed three lawsuits during its lengthy dispute over LeeComm, Lee County’s consolidated emergency dispatch center. With the dispute seemingly resolved, Keokuk has dropped all three lawsuits.

The Keokuk City Council used part of Thursday night’s workshop to talk about possibly increasing the garbage rate over the next two fiscal years. The discussion, though, evolved into whether the city kept its word about how it would use money from a previous increase.

Former Burlington Alderman Chris King has been found guilty of sexually abusing four teenage girls. The jury of 6 men and 6 women deliberated for about 8 hours over a two day period before reaching ithe guilty verdict.

Voter turnout for the November general election was already expected to be high in Lee County, given the tone of the Presidential campaign. Now, it could reach unprecedented levels thanks to a divisive issue being added to the ballot.

Des Moines County Jail

The trial of Chris King, a former member of the Burlington City Council, is entering its second week. King faces up to 35 years in prison on multiple charges including sexual abuse and indecent exposure.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Hundreds of people lined up outside Trinity United Methodist Church in Keokuk Friday afternoon, with the earliest arriving about 90 minutes before the annual “Back to School Festival” began. The event helps parents and guardians prepare for the new school year while giving kids a chance to have some fun with their friends.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Law enforcement agents and mental health care advocates from Lee and Des Moines Counties worked together to create a jail diversion program a couple years ago. The program, which attempts to help inmates avoid returning to jail, is already expanding in southeast Iowa.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Lee County's historic courthouses have been the subject of debate for years, specifically regarding whether both are needed or if a single courthouse in the center of the county would best serve the public. It now appears the public will be asked to settle that debate.

The parents of a man shot and killed by a Fort Madison police officer in August 2014 filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming it violated the constitutional rights of their son, Ryan Swearingen, 29, of Clinton, Iowa.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The owners of The Bookmark are ready to move on to the next phase in their lives. So they are looking for a buyer who will keep their "dream" open for years to come.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Lee County Fair is the oldest county fair in Iowa, dating back to the mid-1800's. Thousands of local kids have participated in a wide range of friendly competitions on the fairgrounds in Donnellson during the past 175 years, including more than 150 in 2016.

The Iowa Attorney General's office has completed its review of a fatal police shooting in Fort Madison. Scott Brown, Special Assistant Attorney General, summarized the office's findings in a four-page report dated July 12, 2016. Not only does the report clear the two officers involved, but it also sheds much more light on details about the robbery.

steve p2008 / www.flickr.com

Keokuk residents will soon be allowed to legally raise chickens in their backyards, as long as they follow certain requirements. It’s those requirements, though, that are ruffling some feathers.

Lee County Sheriff's Office

A lawsuit filed by a former southeast Iowa police chief claims Lee County violated his constitutional rights by subjecting him to a strip search after his arrest in May 2015.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Pop superstar Justin Bieber made an unexpected stop in the tri-state region last month because of mechanical problems with one of his tour buses. As it turns out, the detour might cost him a little extra.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) reported Wednesday that the suspect in the robbery of a Fort Madison bank was shot and killed by officers as he tried to escape.

Outgoing Keokuk High School Principal Zach Wigle is excited for his new opportunity as Activities Director in the Solon School District. He said he's enjoyed his three years in Keokuk, but that it is no longer the best situation.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

It appears a deal has been reached that will ensure 911 calls from Keokuk continue to be answered by Lee County's centralized emergency dispatch center (LeeComm). The proof comes in the fact that the city asked for and received permission to cancel an upcoming court hearing on the matter.

The Keokuk City Council signed off on an early retirement agreement with  Finance Director John Russell. The move should allow Keokuk to have enough money to cover the salary of new City Administrator Aaron Burnett during the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2016.

The 5th Annual Snake Alley Festival of Film is scheduled for June 23-25 at the Capitol Theater in downtown Burlington. As the event has grown, so has Tadd Good's role.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

It's been more than a year since a fire destroyed the former bottle and can redemption center along Main Street in downtown Keokuk. The city is now using the court system to try cleaning up that site and five other properties.

www.cityofkeokuk.org

A local bank is blaming the city of Keokuk for contributing to its private plane being sold without its permission. So State Central Bank is suing the city, the firm that manages Keokuk’s airport (Lindner Aviation), and its owner (Greg Gobble).

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The sun beat down on the bright, white tent set up in front of the administrative building for the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (IAAAP) in Middletown Tuesday afternoon. The soaring temperatures did not stop roughly 40 people from showing up to watch Iowa Governor Terry Branstad announce the 12th “Iowa Certified Site.”

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Lee County hopes the formation of a special committee will help resolve the ongoing dispute over the future of the county's centralized emergency dispatch center (LeeComm). The idea is for the most active users of the dispatch center to try reaching a compromise before the courts get involved.

The city of Keokuk filed a lawsuit Wednesday afternoon, seeking to maintain emergency dispatch services despite not signing an agreement to remain a member of the county’s 911 center. The lawsuit also asks the court to not tax Keokuk residents for a service they might not be able to use.

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