News

James Doyle
NPR

President Trump will unveil details of the White House's plan on police reform in the Rose Garden. The event comes as congressional Democrats and Republicans work on similar proposals in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.

A small rainbow flag is raised above heads. The people are facing away from the camera.
Mark Boss / Unsplash

A buzzword in today’s society is intersectionality. It describes how one person is made up of multiple identities. It includes things like race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender, among other things. All of those aspects make up a person.

Ed Robertson / Unsplash

The coronavirus pandemic has made this a difficult time to sell books, an unfortunate time to publish a book and a wonderful time for many to read.

In this edition of Talk of Iowa, it’s the annual summer books show. If you’re looking for powerful fiction, a read that might challenge your ideas and broaden your mind, poetry that explores the depths of joy, or a light-hearted escape, we have books for you.  

A rainbow flag hangs vertically in front of a building.
Toni Reed / Unsplash

Iowan LGBTQ individuals celebrated a Supreme Court decision Monday that prohibits workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender employees. About one in five Iowans identify within the LGBTQ community. The decision comes halfway through June, which is annual Pride Month.

In a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court added sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimation on the basis of sex in the workplace.

Matthew Bruce, an organizer with Des Moines Black Lives Matter, speaks with reporters after meeting with Gov. Kim Reynolds to discuss felon voting rights.
Grant Gerlock / IPR

Des Moines Black Lives Matter leaders say Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has pledged to sign an executive order to restore felon voting rights in time for the general election, but that it would not likely happen until late summer or early fall.

Deere and Company

Healthcare workers at dozens of Veterans Affairs facilities across the country have been provided protective face shields made by a John Deere plant in the Quad Cities.

In April, the seeding factory in Moline switched from making farm equipment to PPE.

Project leader David Ottavianelli told IPR’s Pat Blank on All Things Considered Monday that more than 400,000 shields were produced and quarter of them (134,000) were sent to those who care for veterans.

John Pemble/IPR

It was a sprint to the finish when lawmakers returned to the statehouse June 3rd. Back in March, after the first Iowa cases of the coronavirus were confirmed, the Legislature started what turned out to be a two-and-a-half month break. Yesterday, June 14th, Iowa lawmakers adjourned the 2020 session.

Courtesty of Elizabeth Reetz.

Archaeologists don’t have to travel the world to dig up history. In fact there might be an archaeological dig waiting for you in your trash can. During this episode of Talk of Iowa, learn how to explore history and heritage at home with Elizabeth Reetz of the Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist.

Last-Minute Legislation

Jun 15, 2020
John Pemble / IPR

During the last week of the 2020 legislative session a series of changes about absentee voting passes in the Senate, but the House changes the bill dramatically. A proposal titled "More Perfect Union" is drafted and passes unanimously in both chambers during one afternoon. And in the last 24 hours of the session a newly-introduced abortion restriction amendment passes. Also, the budget is amended with a new requirement about how county auditors must contact voters when there is incorrect voter identification information on absentee ballot request forms.

John Pemble/IPR FILE

After ten days, the revived 2020 Iowa Legislative Session has ended and the partisan debates waged in the closing hours are likely to continue through the fall campaign. Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver of Ankeny said “unprecedented” is the best word to describe the session.

iowa senate
John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

The Iowa Senate finished its work for the year Sunday afternoon without advancing a constitutional amendment to restore felon voting rights, setting the effort back at least two years.

Iowa is the only state that still permanently bans all Iowans with felony convictions from voting unless they appeal directly to the governor.

abortion rights supporters
John Pemble / IPR file

Iowa’s Republican-led legislature passed a bill mandating a 24-hour abortion waiting period on Saturday night and early Sunday morning, just a few hours after first introducing the proposal and as the House GOP failed to get enough support to pass an abortion-related constitutional amendment.

Follow the latest Iowa news in our Daily Digest, a liveblog where you can catch up on the headlines in five minutes and find more reporting from our news team about the stories you care about. 

GOP Lawmakers Enact 24-Hour Waiting Period For Abortion

Jun 14, 2020
John Pemble/IPR FILE

The Republican-led Iowa legislature has voted to establish a 24-hour waiting period for abortions performed in the state.

Two years ago, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled a 72-hour waiting period was unconstitutional. During debate late Saturday night, Representative Shannon Lundgren of Peosta made it clear Republicans aim for this new proposal to reverse that.

Kate Payne/IPR

Hundreds of protesters marched in Cedar Rapids Saturday for the second weekend in a row, with organizers calling for the city council to address specific demands, including decriminalizing low level marijuana offenses and making police union negotiations public. The demonstrators got a public vote of confidence from one city councilmember at the rally.

John Pemble / IPR

This week, the Iowa Legislature unanimously approved a bill to ban most police chokeholds. The legislation also addressed police officer misconduct, and was unanimously approved in each chamber. The Iowa House and Senate moved each of the bills very quickly through the legislative process, and after the final votes, applause erupted.

kim reynolds signs bill into law
Natalie Krebs / IPR

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law Friday a bill addressing police misconduct that Iowa lawmakers unanimously passed on Thursday.

She signed the bill as racial justice activists and black lawmakers held their fists high, chanted “Black lives matter,” and held a Black Power poster in the air.

Reynolds said George Floyd being killed by a Minneapolis police officer and the protests that followed “led to some genuine soul-searching.”

gnuckx / Wikimedia Commons

Roses are a great way to bring color and drama to your garden. Whatever beautiful species of rose is your favorite, Aaron Steil, assistant director of Reiman Gardens, and Richard Jauron of ISU Extension offer advice to get the most out of your roses.

evren_photos / BigStock.com

The global pandemic has impacted the food supply in numerous ways and that has led to fluctuations in the prices of some common items. Consider humble ground beef, the stuff of hamburgers, meatballs, chili and pasta sauce. The fattier it is, the lower the price. Usually.

Judi Blum

Fred Love lives by the phrase “DIY for life!” It’s served him well over the last few months. Like all of us, he and his family are getting by as best they can, and now Love has documented his experiences on his new EP “Nine Days.”

Steven Pisano / Flickr

Classical music can feel daunting to dig into if you’ve not had a lot of exposure to the genre or didn’t grow up playing an instrument. There are lots of terms, styles, composers, and performers, and if you are unfamiliar, it can feel tough to break in. Since schools adjourned due to the pandemic, we’ve been working to create resources for learners of all ages. This summer, we’re going to dig into classical music for the non-classical listener. 

ras smith
John Pemble / IPR

In a day that lawmakers called historic, the Iowa Legislature introduced and unanimously passed a set of police reforms Thursday as Black Lives Matter protesters looked on.

Last week, amid ongoing protests over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, a group of Democratic state lawmakers proposed policies aimed at preventing police violence.

Natalie Krebs / IPR

Childcare in Iowa appears to be reaching a crisis. Nearly a quarter of the state’s residents are estimated to live in a childcare desert while the annual cost has been estimated to be more than tuition at a public university. This year addressing childcare was set to be a priority in the state legislature, but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. 

iowa capitol
John Pemble/IPR

Iowa House Republicans are proposing state funding levels for the next fiscal year that are about the same as this year as the state expects to bring in less revenue because of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Heath Thompson / Advocates for Social Justice

 

Protests over the recent killings of unarmed black Americans at the hands of white police officers have been occuring all around the nation. On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer brings together Cedar Rapids activists, elected officials and police to discuss the potential reforms that could come about as a result of the protests. 

Iowa Department of Public Health

Hispanic and Latino Iowans make up only 6.2 percent of the state's population, but are disproportinately impacted by COVID-19, accounting for 27 percent of all positive cases, according to state data.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks to Latinx Iowans about their experiences and concerns regarding the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on their community.

Tom Gustafson / Courtesy of Okoboji Tourism

A northwest Iowa county known for summer tourism is seeing an increase in new COVID-19 cases believed to be partly related to Memorial Day weekend and the start of the busy summer season.

IPR Screenshot

Last week, officials in Council Bluffs implemented a curfew and shut down three interstate exits while armed civilians equipped themselves with military-style rifles to patrol the courthouse, waiting for the rioters who were rumored to be coming to destroy the city.

Main street businesses closed early, boarding up their windows, in advance of the violent outsiders that they had read about on Facebook, or heard about from friends.

John Pemble / IPR file

Iowa Republican U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst weighed in on a bill that passed in the GOP-led Iowa state Senate that would prevent Iowa’s secretary of state from sending applications for mail-in ballots to all registered voters. Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate did that for the primary election earlier this month to encourage Iowans to vote from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iowa had a record turnout.

black lives matter at the iowa capitol
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

Black Lives Matter protesters entered the Iowa Capitol Wednesday with a list of demands for state lawmakers and the governor.

They chanted “Where is Kim?” as they tried to get a meeting with the governor and “Let them vote,” in reference to the state’s lifetime disenfranchisement of all Iowans with felony convictions unless they appeal directly to the governor.

Pages