Katarina Sostaric

State Government Reporter

Katarina Sostaric is the State Government Reporter for Iowa Public Radio.

She previously covered Eastern Iowa for IPR from Iowa City. Before coming to Iowa, Katarina was a reporter and host at a public radio station in Southeast Alaska, where her work also aired on Alaska’s statewide public radio network.

Katarina worked as a Morning Edition news anchor and general assignment reporter at KBIA in Columbia while she was a student at the Missouri School of Journalism. She has bachelor’s degrees in Convergence Journalism and International Studies from the University of Missouri.

Katarina’s favorite public radio program is Reveal.

keokuk, iowa
WIKICOMMONS / Billwhittaker

The Lee County Board of Supervisors will consider an ordinance Tuesday that would raise the county’s minimum wage to $8.20.

Meanwhile, a bill working its way through the Iowa Legislature would prohibit minimum wage increases by local governments. The Iowa House of Representatives passed the bill on to the Senate last week.

robert james waller
Courtesy of Scott Cawelti

Iowa-born author Robert James Waller has died in Texas at the age of 77. He wrote “The Bridges of Madison County,” which topped the New York Times bestseller list in 1993.

The book was turned into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood. Waller wrote the novel, which was his first, after photographing covered bridges in Madison County, Iowa.

Scott Cawelti, a longtime friend of Waller, said he died of complications related to cancer. 

refugees
Steve Evans/Wikimedia Commons

Refugee resettlement groups in Iowa are trying to determine how the new version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban will affect their clients.

The new travel ban maintains the 50 percent cut in total refugee arrivals to the U.S. this year, and that cut is reflected in refugee resettlement efforts in Iowa.

Handi Lutfi speaks at minimum wage rally
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

A crowd gathered in downtown Iowa City Wednesday to protest a bill that would reverse minimum wage increases in four Iowa counties.

Protesters chanted, “Can’t survive on $7.25,” because the minimum wage would be set back to the federal and state level of $7.25. Johnson County’s minimum wage is currently $10.10 an hour.

Handi Lutfi said when Johnson County raised its minimum wage, her family’s income was brought above the poverty line.

A Latino advocacy group is warning undocumented immigrants in Iowa to watch out for federal agents, following a string of immigration arrests in the state.

The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa (LULAC) reported several recent arrests this week in a news release.

LULAC National Vice President for the Midwest Joe Enriquez Henry said he is concerned about possible racial profiling by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

johnson county building
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

Johnson County will not assist in federal immigration raids or honor voluntary detainer requests. That is according to a statement made Monday by the county’s Board of Supervisors and Sheriff’s Office.

The statement replaces a similar resolution that was coming up for a vote Tuesday. It maintains that county resources will not be used for enforcing federal immigration laws.

johnson county building
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on a resolution that would prevent county resources from being used to enforce immigration laws.

Under the draft resolution, the sheriff’s office would not actively try to detect undocumented immigrants. Johnson County would also refuse to detain people based on requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This does not prevent federal agents from enforcing immigration laws in the county.

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