News

Amy Mayer / IPR file photo

The value of farmland in Iowa has dropped slightly this year, according to the Iowa State University Land Values Survey.

Wendong Zhang, an economics professor at ISU, collects information from realtors, lenders, appraisers and other people who monitor farm sales and transitions. He says the 0.8 percent decrease in farmland value compared to last year is partly still a correction from the record-high values of 2013. This is the fourth time in the past five years that land values have decreased.

Like Air Force Base/Creative Commons

A western Iowa county has agreed to use space in its juvenile detention center to house a South Dakota tribe’s troubled youth.

Gage Skidmore via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/17649805888/

Iowa’s senior U.S. senator says he’s not troubled by turnover at a top job in the White House. A leading pick to be President Donald Trump’s next chief of staff has turned down the position. That’s after Trump announced John Kelly is leaving the post. 

kim reynolds
Katarina Sostaric/IPR

Iowa’s Republican governor said Tuesday she is open to considering changing how Iowa selects judges.

Gov. Kim Reynolds was reacting to calls for change from some conservatives after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled there’s a fundamental right to abortion in the state.

nate boulton
John Pemble/IPR file

State Sen. Nate Boulton, D-Des Moines, is asking the Senate Ethics Committee to dismiss a sexual harassment complaint against him because the alleged incident happened before he was in office.

His response to the complaint, submitted Monday by his attorney Paige Fiedler, also states some of the allegations “do not ring true.”

Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers

An Iowa liberal arts college is challenging a vote by student workers to expand their union. The appeal puts Grinnell College and its student dining workers’ union in the thick of a national labor law debate.

Close to Home

Dec 10, 2018
John Bloom, Summer Evening (detail), 1936, oil on Masonite, Private collection

John Bloom’s art is a celebration of Midwestern life. It also brought love into his life and an opportunity to study with Grant Wood.

The Figge Art Museum’s exhibit “John Bloom: Close to Home” showcases more than 60 works of art by the beloved local artist. Bloom grew up in small town DeWitt, Iowa. He briefly attended St. Ambrose College before enrolling in the Art Institute of Chicago, which eventually lead him to the Stone City Art Colony. There, he met his future wife Isabel and studied with Grant Wood. He also completed multiple mural commissions with Wood.

Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers

A union of student workers at Grinnell College voted Friday afternoon not to authorize a strike. Some members of the Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers hoped to send a message to school administrators, who oppose the union's recent decision to add all campus workers to its rolls.

gavel
Wikimedia Commons

The legal battle over Iowa’s law that prohibits most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected continued with a hearing Friday in a packed courtroom at the Polk County Courthouse.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the ACLU of Iowa, with their motion for summary judgment, asked the judge to forgo a trial and declare the abortion law unconstitutional.

Penn State via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pennstatelive/

The first class of physicians’ assistants from the University of Dubuque graduated Friday. The new program is coming online as Iowa is facing a potential shortage of PAs. 

Like Air Force Base/Creative Commons

 

$800,000 of taxpayer money will settle an excessive force settlement filed by a northeast Iowa man who was battered by two Des Moines police officers.

Amanda Bengtson/Flickr

Woodbury County supervisors are considering an ordinance that would prohibit trucks from using loud compression brakes on some county roads, but other western Iowa counties that have a similar ordinance in place say it’s difficult to enforce.

Emily Woodbury

The Trump administration's Fourth National Climate Assessment, featuring the conclusions of more than 300 scientists, predicts that climate change will cost the country hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

The report predicts that by 2050, crop productivity in the Midwest will decline by 2050 to levels of the 1980s.

Amy Mayer / IPR

In a lab at George Washington University, painted lady butterflies flutter in mesh houses. This is where assistant professor Arnault Martin and his research group use the new gene-editing technique CRISPR to unlock secrets about the colors and spots on the butterflies’ wings.

CRISPR has allowed them to isolate a precise gene that controls wing appearance, and they can shut it off at will.

Screen grab from Rescue The Perishing on Facebook

A northwest Iowa man who burned four LGBTQ library books in Orange City in October has received a fifth-degree criminal mischief charge.

Wikiwand / http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Grinnell_College

Organizers of a student union at an Iowa college say they’re still open to negotiating with the school’s administrators. But national regulators may decide the future of student workers at Grinnell College.

Tom Gustafson / Courtesy of Okoboji Tourism

A University of Iowa scientist is studying different ways to manage flooding in northwest Iowa’s great lakes.

Roey Ahram via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/roeyahram/

Hundreds of Iowans are traveling out of state to get an abortion. Advocates say the relative cost of the procedure, and the lack of available appointments and providers are pushing some to travel hundreds of miles to get care.

Rob Dillard / Iowa Public Radio

The Des Moines branch of the I Have a Dream Foundation is withdrawing from the national organization. It's changing its name and turning local.

Des Moines schools have been part of the education initiative to prepare low-income students for college for 28 years. It will now be known as the By Degrees Foundation. Its chief executive officer, Emily Westergaard, says the name change better reflects the program’s mission.

Clay Masters/IPR

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg packed a lot into his one-day trip to Iowa as he considers a run for president in 2020.

Bloomberg, who registered as a Democrat in 2018, visited an solar power company and a community college before speaking to a local chapter of the gun-control group Moms Demand Action in Des Moines. Tuesday night he attended a preview of the documentary “From Paris to Pittsburgh,” a climate change documentary he financed, which was partially shot in Iowa.

Cameron Pollack/NPR

Former President George H.W. Bush is being honored with funeral services at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. The 41st president will be eulogized by his son, former President George W. Bush, as well as a former U.S. senator and a former Canadian prime minister. Dozens of U.S. and world leaders are expected to attend the service.

John Pemble / IPR

Some members of Congress aren’t on board with the Trump administration’s new trade deal with Canada and Mexico. But Iowa’s senior U.S. Senator says the president may force their vote. 

Photo Courtesy of Venise Berry

The drive to succeed is a balancing act for many women in search of love, a career, and a family. While many romantics find comfort in classic love songs, Venise Berry relates her dating life to Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust,” in Driven: Reflections on Love, Career and the Pursuit of Happiness. Berry’s new collection of essays focuses on her experience as a career-focused woman growing up in the 70s. 

Nuns and Nudes

Dec 4, 2018
Just to Live is Holy exhibition, Dubuque Museum of Art, Dubuque, Iowa

It’s not every day that you see those two words together, but the Dubuque Museum of Art pulls it off with class.

Their exhibit “Just to Live is Holy” showcases works by internationally-known artists such as Sister Corita Kent, in addition to local artists such as Louise Kames, professor or art and Chair of the Art and Art History Department at Clarke University. Their art, along with the other artists, ranges from traditional to abstract, and in every medium imaginable.

Atsushi Hyogo / flickr

The head of Iowa’s only greyhound racing track says he expects to be in business for at least a few more years, despite a decision by Florida voters last month to close all of that state’s dog tracks. Brain Carpenter, the general manager of Iowa Greyhound Park in Dubuque, says the closing of Florida’s 11 tracks by the end of 2020 could mean fewer dogs being bred to run at other tracks, including Iowa’s.

John Pemble

Cystic Fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and makes it harder to breathe over time. It causes a sticky buildup of mucus in the lungs, and also in the pancreas and other organs.

While the condition is difficult to live with, methods of treatment have improved vastly in the past few decades.

Charity Nebbe/Iowa Public Radio

It's that time of year again! Make your list and check it twice, because here are some holiday book recommendations from some of Iowa's greatest bibliophiles. Jan Weismiller and Tim Budd from Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City and Hunter Gillum from Beaverdale Books in Des Moines share their top fiction and non-fiction picks of 2018.

CBS News

The poinsettia is everywhere this time of year.  It’s beautiful, but where did this plant come from and how did it become such an important Christmas symbol? 

On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with horticulturist Chris Currey about the long history of the poinsettia. Later in the hour, Richard Jauron joins to answer listener questions.  

Iowa Courts

Democrats have cleared an initial hurdle in a legal challenge over the state’s closest legislative race. Local elections officials will take another look at ballots tossed out in northeast Iowa’s House District 55 race. The candidates are separated by nine votes, and if a judge ultimately orders the ballots be counted, they could potentially change the outcome of the race.

Courtesy Cris Bro Hospitality

In less than a year, the Cedar Falls will likely have two convention centers.

Chris Bro Hospitality Monday broke ground on an expansion to its existing Hilton Garden Inn.  The project will add 92 rooms and include meeting space for 700 hundred people.  A second proposed development just a mile away includes a new hotel and banquet seating for one thousand.

Cedar Falls Tourism Bureau spokesperson Becky Wagner says the new development will compliment a second proposed development just a mile away.

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