IPR News Stories

david young
John Pemble / IPR

Republican Congressman David Young took the stage at the Des Moines Register Soapbox Thursday and told state fair-goers ongoing trade disputes and tariffs are making him nervous.

After his speech, Young (R-Van Meter) told reporters he has made it clear to the Trump Administration that he “doesn’t like” tariffs that are affecting Iowa pork and soybean producers.

“As a leverage tool, I understand what [Trump is] doing,” Young said. “But as policy, we cannot allow this to go on a whole lot longer and allow this to become pure policy and have it mired in that.”

Girls on the Run of Eastern Iowa via facebook / https://www.facebook.com/GOTREasternIowa/

A girls empowerment organization in Eastern Iowa is offering sports hijabs to help Muslim girls stay active. 

Devlon Duthie via flickr creative commons

Iowa City is once again debating how to rein in a growing urban deer population. As the city has done in the past, local officials are considering hiring sharpshooters to cull the deer. But residents are divided on how to manage the deer, which some say are damaging gardens and spurring car crashes.

John Pemble

 

 

Corn dogs, baby ducks, and a butter cow to boot!

 

The Iowa State Fair is a time-honored tradition for many Iowans, and has gained a reputation for being one of the largest fairs in the nation.

 

Do you remember your first fair? 

Joyce Russell/IPR

Vice President Mike Pence rallied Republican voters in Des Moines today at a roundtable event sponsored by a pro tax-cut group known as “America First Policies.” 

In a rousing 30-minute speech to a first-come, first-served crowd of about 250, Pence criticized the Washington media and recited what he sees as the accomplishments so far of the Trump administration.  

That includes record tax cuts, exiting the Paris climate accords, and a crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

Burlington Hawk Eye Newspaper

A federal judge in Davenport Tuesday ruled that body camera video and other evidence in a 2015 Burlington police shooting should be made public.

Thirty-four-year-old Autumn Steele was shot and killed by officer Jesse Hill after responding to a domestic abuse call at her home.

The Burlington Police Department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation have resisted release of the video.

Under Judge James Gritzner’s ruling, the city of Burlington will have 14 days to propose redactions to be approved by the court before the information is made public.

Rehab Center Vita / Wikimedia Commons

Advocates for a planned western Iowa detoxification center for people recovering from addiction say there is a real need for one that serves Native American and homeless people.

John Pemble/IPR

Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate brought his re-election campaign to the Iowa State Fair Tuesday, taking his turn on the Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox.  

As the state’s chief elections officer, Pate said Iowa has registered a quarter of a million new voters during his time in office, aided in part by a new online voter registration system.   He said the state ranks among the top in the nation for voter participation and registration.   Also, 17-year olds can now register and vote in primary elections.

kim reynolds
John Pemble / IPR

Republican Governor Kim Reynolds took to the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the state fair Tuesday and touted her new legislation and positive state rankings as part of her campaign to remain governor of Iowa.

She told supporters and fair-goers she is proud of signing tax code changes, mental health reform, and job training bills into law.

“We have a lot of positive things happening in Iowa,” Reynolds said. “And I know the other side wants to think everything’s doom and gloom and Iowa’s going to hell in a handbasket and I’m sorry, it is not.”

Kate Payne / IPR

Farmers began phasing out the use of a particular pesticide long before a federal judge recently banned it. But chlorpyrifos could still have some long-term effects in Iowa.

Michael Leland/IPR

The Libertarian candidate for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District seat says low income Iowans should be able to keep more of their money.  Charles Aldrich of Clarion is running against Republican incumbent Steve King.  Aldrich says people who earn less than $350 a week shouldn’t have to pay federal taxes. 

“These people are working for poverty wages, and they shouldn’t be having to fork over their money because the government thinks that they can spend it more wisely,” he said.

Iowa Democratic Party

The annual veterans parade at the Iowa State Fair turned controversial Monday when a Democratic veterans group was barred from the event.   

The Iowa Democratic Veterans’ Caucus was initially issued credentials from the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs through what organizers call a clerical process.   But when the organizers reviewed the applications late last week, they recinded the credentials for the IDVC.  

Daniel Gannon is part of the informal group of organizers he calls the Iowa State Fair Veterans Committee.  He says they’ve always banned political groups.  

Courtesy of Iowa Department of Human Services

Three Western Iowa counties are exploring new ways to coordinate regional mental health services next fiscal year after a series of disagreements led to what some call an uncooperative relationship.

Kate Payne / IPR

Investigators in Poweshiek County say they’re sparing no expense in the search for a missing University of Iowa student. And as the disappearance of 20 year old Mollie Tibbets approaches the one month mark, investigators have launched a website to field even more tips, findingmollie.iowa.gov.

Joyce Russell/IPR

Iowa 2nd District Congressman Dave Loebsack warned state fairgoers Monday that if Republicans retain control of the U.S. House, there will be a renewed attempt at entitlement reform directed at the nation’s senior citizens.     

Loebsack was first elected in a Democratic wave in 2006 after President George W. Bush’s plan to privatize social security failed to advance. 

“It crashed and burned due to bipartisan opposition,” Loebsack said from the Des Moines Register Soapbox at the fair.  

Michael Leland/IPR

The Libertarian candidate for Iowa governor acknowledges he probably won’t win the election, but he says this political campaign is an opportunity to expand the party in the state.  Council Bluffs business consultant Jake Porter says Libertarians are on the ballot in about three dozen contests this November, including statewide offices and all four congressional races. 

Porter says there are about 11,000 registered Libertarians in the state, and he’d like to see that number reach 20,000 in part by getting out the party’s message.

Katie Peikes / IPR

More than 40 researchers from around the world gathered in northwest Iowa last week to share their studies on single-celled algae organisms called polar marine diatoms. These organisms are the base of the food web in the polar regions and can reveal a lot about the Earth’s changing climate.

fred hubbell
Katarina Sostaric/IPR

Standing on the Des Moines Register soapbox Saturday, Democratic candidate for governor Fred Hubbell criticized Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds for what he said is her failure to stand up to the White House during escalating trade disputes.

Hubbell said tariffs are putting rural communities “on edge.”

“It’s not acceptable to say, ‘Let’s be patient, it’s going to work its way out.’ We need someone to stand up for Iowans and put Iowans first, regardless of who’s in the White House and regardless of what the party is,” Hubbell said. “And that’s what I’m going to do.”

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Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate won a partial victory Friday in his quest to preserve the state’s new voter ID law, including new restrictions on absentee ballots.   

Under an order issued Friday by the Iowa Supreme Court, early voting for the November election will be allowed for 29 days before Election Day, as dictated by the new law.  

Critics of the law had hoped to prevent the state from shortening the time and instead keep the old limit of 40 days.     

deidre dejear
John Pemble / IPR

Secretary of State candidate Deidre DeJear told state fair-goers Friday she wants all eligible voters in Iowa to have access to the ballot box.

DeJear is a Democrat challenging Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate in the November election.

She said her grandmother in Mississippi saw the sacrifices made when people of color and women were seeking the right to vote.

Pesticides are all over, from backyard gardens to cornfields. While their use doesn’t appear to be slowing, concern over drift and the resulting effects on health is driving research — and more worries.

Those concerns are bringing pesticides to a different venue: courtrooms. 

John Pemble/IPR

Earlier this year Maddie Poppe won this season of American Idol. The national television show features unknown singers from around the country as they perform in front of celebrity pop music judges. Television viewers vote which artists come back and which do not.

Poppe is from Clarksville, an eastern Iowa town with a population of fewer than 2,000 people.

Kate Payne / IPR

A group helping pay bills for Iowa families affected by an immigration raid is running out of money. Volunteers in the southeast Iowa city of Mount Pleasant have raised $120,000 since Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detained 32 workers from a concrete plant in May. But organizers with the group IowaWINs, which stands for Iowa Welcomes its Immigrant Neighbors, say the money they've raised in the past four months will run out by the end of August.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Seven Iowans were honored with the Governor’s Lifesaving Award at the Iowa State Fair Thursday.

Arturo Melendez from Marion saved a woman who was having a heart attack while driving on a highway near Cedar Rapids the day after Christmas.  Melendez saw a stopped car during morning rush hour traffic. When he pulled over to see what was happening, he noticed the driver’s eyes were closed.

 

Joyce Russell/IPR

Attorneys for Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate were at the Iowa Supreme Court today, arguing for reinstatement of parts of Iowa’s new Voter ID law.     

Requiring an ID at the polls doesn’t take effect until next year, but new rules for absentee ballots went into effect this year.

Last month, a district court judge issued a temporary injunction halting those parts of the law.   The Secretary of State wants the injunction lifted so the new absentee ballot rules can be in effect for the November election.

Michael Leland/IPR

An Iowa State Fair tradition resumed on Thursday's opening day – political speeches at the Des Moines Register soapbox. First up Thursday was Abby Finkenauer.  She’s a Democrat challenging Republican Rod Blum for the 1st Congressional District seat in Washington.  In a brief speech to a few dozen supporters, Finkenauer said she’d like to get people talking more about values, and hope.

Courtesy of Iowa DNR

Flooding in northwest Iowa earlier this summer propelled an invasive species of fish called Asian carp towards the Iowa Great Lakes, but biologists say a barrier seems to be keeping them out.

Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

The Iowa congressman thought to be among the country's most vulnerable incumbents said he’s not worried about this year’s midterms. Multiple national analysts have singled out Iowa Congressman Rod Blum, R-IA, as a prime target for Democrats hoping to take back the U.S. House. The two-term Republican is facing Democrat Abby Finkenauer in a toss-up race for the 1st Congressional District in northeast Iowa.

Joyce Russell/IPR

Eric Branstad, who directed President Trump’s Iowa campaign in 2016, says he is in discussions with the president about how to win Iowa again when Trump runs for re-election in 2020.   

Branstad, the son of former Governor Terry Branstad, led the president to a nine-point victory in 2016 over Hillary Clinton.   

Speaking at the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, he left little doubt he’d like to direct the Iowa campaign again.

Amy / IPR file photo

Veterinarians and officials are hoping to keep a deadly foreign virus from infecting the American hog industry. African swine fever has been making its way off its namesake continent and into Europe, including Russia. Now, it’s reached China, leading to the culling of about 8,000 hogs.

In response, Japan closed its market to all pork imports from China.

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