Vacant 3rd Ward city council seat will be filled by special election

Robert Brewer Jr.
Robert Brewer Jr.


Staff Writer

It appears that voters in Maquoketa’s 3rd Ward will have the opportunity to select their new city council member.

With three residents applying for appointment to the vacant position, the council on Monday night said it will switch procedures and instead call a special election to fill the opening created by the resignation of Eric Pape from the council.

Pape resigned last month effective July 1 due to plans to move outside the city.

The council earlier this month decided it would fill the vacancy by appointment and issued a call for applicants from the southeast side ward.

Council members changed their minds Monday after they noted that three residents – Jerry Bowen, Vicki Hansen and Josh Smith – had applied for the appointment.

“My thought is with these three great candidates, I’d personally like to see it go back to a special election,” said council member Amy Moore.

“I think that it’s great that we have three great candidates for the 3rd Ward position because in the past we haven’t had very much interest, especially in that one ward seat,” Moore said.


“When we initially made that decision to 


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Man arrested in Maquoketa on murder charges

Robert Brewer Jr.
Robert Brewer Jr.


A Davenport man was arrested in Maquoketa this week and charged with first-degree murder in the 2015 death of his infant stepson.


Robert John Brewer Jr., 31, was taken into custody Monday after officers obtained an arrest warrant. 


At about 1:30 p.m., Brewer, who works at Family Dollar Distribution Center south of Maquoketa, was arrested and taken to the Jackson County Detention Center pending extradition to Illinois.


Jackson County court documents show he waived extradition. Bond was set at $1 million.


Brewer is charged with first-degree murder for the 2015 death of three-month-old Eli Brewer in Rock Island.


Rock Island police officers responded to the 1200 block of 31st Street on reports of a child not breathing on Aug 16, 2015. They found Eli not breathing and with no pulse, according to a statement issued by the Rock Island Police Department.


Following CPR, the baby was taken to Unity Point Medical Center in Rock Island, then OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois, but died two days later. 


The police department said Eli had sustained injuries “that were consistent with having been intentionally inflicted” and those injuries did “directly lead to his death.”


Eli was the son of Lindsey Brower and Russell Burmeister Jr., according to his obituary, which listed Brewer as the baby’s stepfather.


Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact the Rock Island Police Department at 309-732-2677 or Crimestoppers at 309-762-9500. 


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Couple sells manufacturing business after 30 years

Pam Bahr and husband Jim England stand amid the wood, sawdust and equipment of the business they bought 30 years ago – Woodform, Inc. They sold the business and building effective July 1 to Soregard Inc.
Pam Bahr and husband Jim England stand amid the wood, sawdust and equipment of the business they bought 30 years ago – Woodform, Inc. They sold the business and building effective July 1 to Soregard Inc.


News Editor

“Where’s Woodform?” 

It’s a little game Jim England, wife Pam Bahr, and family tend to play when they travel. 

The game is similar to “Where’s Waldo,” where people search a page to find the hidden Waldo character. In this case, however, the couple isn’t actively looking, they just happen to spot the wooden spice racks, tie hangers, wall shelves, and other Woodform-manufactured items wherever they go.

Including in the small Alaska town of Chicken, a row of shops and restrooms, Pam said. 

“‘Pam! Pam! Come here. You’ve got to see this,’ Jim told me,” Pam said. Jim was holding yet another wood display their business created in its Birch Drive facility.


It will always be a fun game, but 


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City gets $400,000 grant

Dave Heiar
Dave Heiar


Staff Writer

The City of Maquoketa has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the state to help finance downtown improvements and the proposed trail to the Hurstville Interpretive Center.

The grant, which is due to be announced officially on Monday, was disclosed Tuesday night at a Maquoketa City Council meeting. The council voted 5-0 to accept the funds.

The money was awarded by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs under its Iowa Great Places grant program.

“It’s a nice award, a sizable amount,” City Manager Brian Wagner told the council. “A lot of different hands were involved in putting it all together. It’s something to be very proud of.”


The grant provides funds for a variety of components to the downtown reconstruction 


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