IPR News Stories

Joyce Russell/IPR

Petitioners challenging Iowa’s voter ID law were in Polk County District court Friday, urging a district judge to temporarily halt enforcement of parts of the law. 

Ames resident Taylor Blair and the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa are suing Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate over the law.

The requirements in the law to show identification at the polls don’t go into effect until next year.  But on Friday, lawyers for the plaintiffs argued for a temporary injunction to stop the parts of the law that are already in effect dealing with absentee ballots.   

Geoff Livingston/flickr

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley is asking the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court to make court proceedings more open to the public, this time in the form of audio from oral arguments.

Grassley has long advocated for cameras to be allowed in federal courts, as they are in many state courts across the country.      

Now, along with ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy,  Grassley has written a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts,  arguing that audio from oral arguments should be immediately available, instead of released at the end of the week.

There’s a long-forbidden crop on the verge of legalization, one that’s versatile and could open up new markets for farmers: hemp.

John Pemble/IPR file photo

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says the U.S.  Senate Judiciary Committee that he chairs is beefing up staff to help evaluate President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.        

And Grassley says if past confirmation schedules are a guide, the new justice could be on the bench to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy by the opening of the court’s next term on the first Monday in October.   

President Trump will announce his choice on Monday.     

Photo Courtesty of Matthew Christopher

During this Talk of Iowa segment, host Charity Nebbe catches up with designer Matthew Christopher. Before Christopher became a couture dresser for celebrities and brides across the world, he made prom gowns for his dates in his hometown of Wellman. He learned to sew in 4-H as a kid.

“I was enthralled with Brides magazine at the age of 10,” Christopher says.

 

Amy Mayer / IPR

After months of verbally sparring with trade partners, the United States is poised to implement wide-reaching tariffs Friday on imported goods, and one in particular has the agriculture economy on edge: soybeans.

OTA Photos / Flickr

Single mothers living in poverty can improve their health when they take charge of their financial lives, according to preliminary findings that researchers now hope to demonstrate in a much larger study.

Sukup Manufacturing, Sheffield Iowa

A new workplace drug testing law went into effect this week so Iowa employers will be allowed to discipline more workers for inebriation on the job.   

The law will lower the allowed workplace blood alcohol standard from 0.04 to 0.02 to bring Iowa in line with federal law.   

Sukup Manufacturing External Relations Manager Rachel Geilenfeld lobbied the legislature for the change.

Vaping360 via flickr creative commons / http://vaping360.com/cbd-oil-cannabidiol-hemp-oil/

The mayor of Cedar Rapids says his city is ready to capitalize on the state’s medical marijuana industry. That's after state officials awarded a license to the company Iowa Relief, LLC to build a cannabis manufacturing center in the city.

Karen Wendt, special to IPR

Cleanup continues in Polk County following this weekend’s heavy rains that caused flash flooding. Authorities say they may never know how many homes were damaged by the rapidly rising water.

suzanna de baca
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

The Iowa Supreme Court struck down a law Friday requiring women seeking abortions to wait 72 hours between an initial appointment and getting the procedure.

In a 5-2 decision, the court ruled the waiting period violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the Iowa Constitution.

John Pemble/IPR

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says diversity alone will not be enough to win an upcoming vacancy on the state’s Supreme Court. Justice Bruce Zager is retiring on September 3, 2018 and Reynolds is slated to name his replacement. It could be an opportunity to diversify a judiciary overwhelmingly made up of white men.

Amy Mayer / IPR

In an annual survey, Iowa State University economists found the age of farmland owners continues to climb, and with that the number of acres owned debt-free also has increased.

About a third of the land is owned by people who are at least 75 years old and 82 percent of land is owned debt-free.  Typically, the older the landowner, the lower the debt load.

Douglas Palmer/Flickr

The question of how to apply Iowa’s 'Stand Your Ground' law is once again before a judge, this time in Iowa's 6th Judicial District. The case involving a shooting outside of a Cedar Rapids bar could be another opportunity for a judge to weigh in on the 2017 measure.

naloxone
Tom Wolf / flickr

Iowa officials will distribute 2,000 free opioid overdose reversal kits throughout the state this Friday.

More than 350 pharmacies will have naloxone, a drug that stops an opioid overdose, available for free. Each kit has two doses of the drug in a nasal spray form, branded as Narcan.

It’s part of the state’s effort to address increasing opioid-related deaths in the state.

supreme court
John Pemble/IPR file photo

Twenty-two Iowans have applied to become the state’s newest Supreme Court justice.

The State Judicial Nominating Commission will interview applicants July 9 to start the process of choosing a replacement for Justice Bruce Zager. He is retiring effective Sept. 3.

This is the first Iowa Supreme Court vacancy since 2011. Some court watchers see it as an opportunity to diversify the state’s highest court because all seven justices are currently white men.

arileu via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/arileu/10597303795/in/photolist-h9rXdp-hbVuus

More than a third of Iowans across 457,223 households can’t afford basic expenses like housing and transportation, according to a new report from the United Way. In spite of economic recoveries since the Great Recession, many Iowans' wages aren't keeping up with the cost of living.

Lee Enterprises

Davenport-based Lee Enterprises is entering into an agreement to manage the newspaper and digital operations of Berkshire Hathaway.

The BH Media division of the company headed by Warren Buffett owns newspapers in 30 markets. Its holdings include the Council Bluffs Nonpareil and the Omaha World-Herald.

The president and CEO of Lee, Kevin Mowbray, says combining the two chains under one management roof leads to benefits.

National Institute on Drug Abuse

A new addiction treatment clinic is now open in Burlington. The facility will offer medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, a somewhat controversial approach that pairs behavioral therapy with medication. Staff members behind the new center hope to counteract the stigma some drug users are facing. 

flood rock valley
City of Rock Valley

Heavy rain continued to fall Monday morning on areas of northwest Iowa already soaked by storms over the weekend. In the far northwest corner of the state, an oil spill is complicating matters.

On Friday, 32 rail cars derailed in Lyon County and spilled an estimated 230,000 gallons of crude oil into the Little Rock River.

Rock Valley City Administrator Tom Van Maanen said his community, which is downstream from the oil spill, is concerned about the oil that escaped containment efforts.

Beef cattle ranchers are getting wise to the science of genetics.

iowa capitol
John Pemble/IPR

An Iowa lawmaker wants a review of the state’s public records law. The statements come as government watchdogs are trying to access records in the case of a woman killed by a police officer.

Kate Payne / IPR

Students behind the March For Our Lives campaign made stops in Eastern Iowa Thursday as part of their nationwide bus tour to continue the conversation on gun control. The activists are hoping to mobilize young voters, and it’s no coincidence they came to Iowa's competitive 1st Congressional District.

Kate Payne / IPR

A World War II soldier was buried in his Iowa hometown Wednesday with full military honors, nearly 74 years after the man was first reported missing.

kim reynolds
John Pemble/IPR

Iowa’s governor and senior U.S. Senator are joining the chorus of conservatives criticizing President Trump’s policy of separating migrant families at the border. 

Kate Payne / IPR

Ten years after floodwaters devastated downtown Cedar Rapids, many businesses have returned and some new ones have opened up. For some, that reinvestment was tied to the city’s commitment to build a permanent flood control system. But a decade later, businesses are still waiting for that protection. 

Paul "710928003" / flickr

A pilot program in four Iowa counties that aims to make the pretrial bond system fairer for all defendants will continue through the end of the year because of a veto by Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds. But a new, shorter timeline limits research efforts around the program.

Dean Borg/IPR

Iowa’s corn and soybean crops are in mostly good shape this week, despite recent weather extremes.

Monday’s U.S. Department of Agriculture update rates 84 percent of Iowa’s corn acreage in good to excellent condition.

It’s about the same for soybeans.

Heavy rains and some hail battered some central Iowa fields during the past week.

But the section of the state most needing rain -- south-central and south-east counties -- slipped further into drought.

The USDA calls nearly two-thirds of southeast Iowa’s fields short to very short of moisture. 

Matthew McGuire/ Des Moines Backyard Beekeepers

Discovering a large swarm of bees in a hollow tree or in an abandoned building can be unnerving. For many people the first instinct is to destroy them, but there are alternatives.

Jeff Becvar of Indianola is a bee removal specialist. He says it’s not an easy task, but the honey comb and its residents can be relocated.

Hubbell for Governor Campaign

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell has selected State Sen. Rita Hart as his running mate.  

Hart will be officially nominated as lieutenant governor today when Democrats meet for their state convention in Des Moines.  

Hart describes herself as an educator, farmer, mother, and volunteer.  She is serving her first term in  the Iowa Senate.  She taught in the Calamus-Wheatland and Bennett Community School Districts for over two decades.  She and her husband Paul operate a family-owned century farm near Wheatland in Clinton County.

Pages