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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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Lee County is one step away from finalizing an increase of the local minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $8.20/hour. Lee would become the fifth county in Iowa to hike the rate in the past 18 months, joining Linn, Johnson, Polk, and Wapello.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Five women are refusing to accept a plea deal in connection with their arrest last fall for protesting the construction of the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline through Lee County. Instead, they want to go to trial.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Lee County Sheriff Stacy Weber is not supporting the decision to dismiss most of the remaining charges against people arrested last fall during multiple protests against the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline. Weber told Tri States Public Radio that it's difficult to explain to his deputies that their efforts equate to $60 in court costs.

Lauren Zechin / Daily Gate City

The Lee County Sheriff's Office said a body found Saturday morning along the shoreline of the Mississippi River near Hamilton's Montebello Access is a southeast Iowa man who went missing after going out on the river in early January.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Patti Wachtendorf describes her new role as warden of the Iowa State Penitentiary as her dream job because it allowed her to come home -- both personally and professionally. She replaced outgoing warden Nick Ludwick, who retired.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Lee County Attorney's Office is dismissing most of the remaining charges against the people arrested last fall during the weeks-long protest against the Dakota Access Crude Oil Pipeline.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/86639298@N02/

The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) heard additional testimony in Keokuk's Grand Theater Wednesday morning regarding a proposed natural gas rate hike for roughly 4,000 customers in and around the city.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

District Court Judge John Wright administered the oath of office to new Lee County Attorney Ross Braden following Tuesday’s county board meeting. Braden said, afterwards, that he is excited to get to work.

Almost every Lee County employee will get a pay raise on July 1, 2017, despite the fact that the county’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year is in the red by roughly $1.5-million.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Lee County has a new County Attorney following the appointment of Ross Braden to the post Tuesday morning. But it appears that appointment might be for a much shorter term than anticipated.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison is not commenting on the "suspension of services" at its minimum security facility and what it could mean for staffing at the facility.

Burlington's teachers do not believe they should be asked for ideas to trim the budget for next year while also negotiating an employment contract for that same time period.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

It appears a business that got its start in Keokuk just a few years ago is ready to return home.  The city council authorized City Administrator Aaron Burnett and Mayor Tom Marion to negotiate a lease agreement with Trident Nature Technologies

The Keokuk School District is remaining tight-lipped about an apparent licensing issue with its high school show choir program even though the topic came up during a public event in the community in late January.

The mayor of LaHarpe faces prison time and removal from office for allegedly using city staff and equipment for personal gain in November 2016. 

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) has identified the victim of a homicide in Keokuk as Lori Williams, 54, of 222 Concert Street.  Keokuk police found Williams' body in her home Monday morning.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Tammy McCoy did not have a lot of time to sit back and relax during the first Battle of the Brushes in downtown Burlington. As director of the Burlington Art Center, she did her best to make sure the larger than expected crowd was having a good time.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Nick Ludwick's final day on the job as Warden at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison is Friday, Jan. 27. He's retiring after a four decade career in corrections in Michigan and Iowa.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Lee County Board is considering a proposal to spend $800,000 on its buildings over the next 18 months.  The county's maintenance department included $400,000 in its proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018, which begins July 1, 2017. It also would like to spend an additional $400,000 to its FY17 budget.

A Keokuk chiropractor must pay a $500 fine as part of a settlement with the Iowa Board of Chiropractic.

Burlington Police Dept.

The Burlington Police Department has charged two men in connection with the death of Kedarie Johnson, 16, of Burlington in March 2016.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The city of Keokuk has hired Keokuk Contractors to demolish the former Elks Lodge at 601 Blondeau Street. The building, which was built in 1911, is more commonly known to many in the area as the former Palace nightclub.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Lee County is taking legal action to try to stop the polluting of Chatfield Lake.  County Attorney Mike Short filed a lawsuit Friday morning against Richard and Wilma Moore of Keokuk. The Moores own three homes along Lake Road in the unincorporated town of Mooar.

Abraham Watkins is no longer the County Attorney in Van Buren County. District court Judge James Drew this week ordered Watkins’ removal from office over multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Lee County Attorney Mike Short submitted to the county his letter of resignation Tuesday morning. He said the time has come for him to retire.

Lauren Zechin / Daily Gate City

The search has been called off for two men reported missing Tuesday afternoon after their boat capsized in the Mississippi River near Montrose.

The men's basketball team at Southeastern Community College is beginning 2017 with a new head coach, following the retirement of Terry Carroll after ten years at the helm. Assistant Coach Lorenzo Watkins has been named Interim Head Coach.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Voters told the Lee County Board in November to repair the county’s historic courthouses in Keokuk and Fort Madison instead of building a new courthouse near the county jail. The board appears to be listening, as it approved the hiring of a construction manager, this week, to prioritize and oversee upcoming projects.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Iowa Fertilizer Company broke ground on its roughly $2-billion production plant in 2012. Four years later, the company is preparing to bring the plant online.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Lee County Sheriff Jim Sholl is hanging up his badge, retiring after a nearly 30 year career in law enforcement. Sholl said he is filled with mixed emotions as he nears his final day on the job.

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