Hospital board OKs $105,000 site study

Katie Bopes
Katie Bopes


Staff Writer

The Jackson County Regional Health Center Board of Trustees this week hired architectural and construction management firms to help the board plan a new hospital.

On a 5-0 vote, the board on Tuesday approved an administrative recommendation to hire BWBR Architects Inc. of St. Paul, Minn., at a cost of up to $95,000 and J. H. Findorff & Son Inc. of Madison, Wis., at a cost of up to $10,000, for a maximum total of $105,000.

Board member Eilene Busch was absent.

The two firms will work with the board and administration over the next three months to develop a master site and facility plan to replace the current hospital facility.

The firms will work together and present a report offering recommendations and options to the board at the end of October.

The board acted after hearing presentations by managers of the two firms over an hour and 15 minutes.

The firms were recommended from among six firms that were interviewed by a committee of board members, hospital officials and officials from Genesis Health System of Davenport, which manages the hospital under a management services agreement.

The hospital board has undertaken the issue of whether to remodel the present facility, replace the current hospital with a new one at its present site or build a new facility elsewhere.

The impetus for the action is a report the hospital board received in April that showed the hospital has multiple serious deficiencies with its facilities, including deteriorating electrical, plumbing and air handling systems, too much unused space and systems that do not meet hospital building code requirements.


That study found the hospital would have to spend $15.6 million over the next 10 years to correct the deficiencies, including $7.28 million of repairs and renovations seen as an “immediate need.”


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Mandatory blood testing reveals healthy poultry for 2016 fair

Katie Bopes
Katie Bopes


News Editor

MAQUOKETA – With a cluck-cluck here and feathers flying there, hundreds of poultry underwent blood tests Saturday morning on the Jackson County Fairgrounds. 

The dozen-or-so human volunteers weren’t testing the chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese for performance-enhancing drugs but for pullorum-typhoid, a disease that can be spread among flocks.

All poultry being exhibited at the county and state fair must have had a negative pollorum-typhoid test within 90 days of public exhibition, according to the Iowa Department of Land and Ag Stewardship. 

Only poultry need such extensive testing, according to Katie Bopes, Jackson County youth 4-H coordinator.

“All livestock are checked by a vet before they can enter the livestock buildings at the fair,” Bopes said. “However, no other species have to have additional testing like poultry do this year.”

Bopes said no pollorum-typhoid outbreaks have been reported in the immediate area, “but we’re being pro-active.”


The testing process proved


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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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