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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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.

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.

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