WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Keokuk

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Questions about the future of the former Unitarian Church in Keokuk were settled Wednesday morning when the operator of a large, yellow backhoe started crunching the building's brick exterior with a giant metal claw. The city said a clean demolition was the most feasible option, compared to trying to salvage aspects of the more than 125-year-old structure.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

CEO Mark Richardson jokingly said Tuesday that the groundbreaking ceremony for Great River Health Systems' new nearly $7 million clinic in Keokuk was supposed to be held the day before, but he thought it would be too warm. That drew laughter from the roughly 30 people in attendance who huddled together as a bitter wind whipped around them.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

District Court Judge John Wright has granted a temporary injunction against the city of Keokuk, prohibiting it from demolishing the former Unitarian Church at the corner of 4th and High Streets. No further hearings have been scheduled at this time regarding the temporary injunction.

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Four people are running to be the next mayor of Keokuk: Carl Morgan, Tom Richardson, Patricia Whiteside and Dan Winn. Whiteside said she entered the race to help Keokuk move forward while also protecting its past.

The Solar Eclipse in the Tri States

Aug 21, 2017
Rich Egger

More than 90% of the sun was covered by the moon at the height of Monday's solar eclipse in the tri states.  Overcast skies generally obscured the eclipse, though occasional breaks in the clouds gave people glimpses of the phenomenon. 

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Crews have been working at the former Unitarian Church at the corner of 4th and High Streets in Keokuk. City Administrator Aaron Burnett said they are not tearing down the vacant building.  Instead, they are removing asbestos from it.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Christine Barnes said her first week as superintendent of the Keokuk School District has been a whirlwind, meeting new people and learning about the district. She said it's also been exciting for the new opportunity that lies before her.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The future of the former Unitarian Church in Keokuk has been a topic of conversation amongst the city council for years. The time for talk came to an end Thursday night.

Harrison Monuments - Quincy/Warsaw

The Keokuk City Council will allow a monument honoring Tri-State Area musicians to be constructed along the Mississippi River, near the George M. Verity Riverboat Museum.

Keokuk School District

The Keokuk School Board had a busy day Monday. It held one open session, two private interviews lasting more than two hours each, and a 90 minute closed door meeting. The result: the hiring of a new school superintendent.

The Keokuk School Board met behind closed doors for more than two hours Wednesday night, narrowing the field of candidates in its search for the district's next superintendent. The board settled on two candidates: Kathy Dinger and Christine Barnes.

The city of Keokuk does not believe its residents and businesses should be forced to reimburse a utility company nearly $600,000 for legal expenses and other fees on top of a natural gas rate hike. So it's asking the court system to get involved.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Community Health Centers of Southeastern Iowa (CHC) is moving ahead with its plan for a new dental clinic in Keokuk.

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.

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

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).

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 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.

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.

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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

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

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

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.

Janet Smith / Keokuk Union Depot Foundation

The effort to raise money to pay for the restoration of the Keokuk Union Depot’s roof has reached a milestone. But there is still more work to do before the fundraising is complete.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

City Administrator Aaron Burnett said when he first arrived in Keokuk, he noticed the number of vacant commercial buildings along the Main Street Corridor. He said that’s why finding a new use for those sites -- be it through renovation or demolition -- is a priority for the city and its elected leaders.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Iowa Utilities Board has selected a new location for its hearing on Liberty Utilities’ request to increase natural gas rates in and around Keokuk. The hearing will be held at the Grand Theater in Keokuk Feb. 22 and 23, 2017.

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

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

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.

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.

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