Kate Payne


Kate Payne is an Iowa City-based reporter and a co-host of Iowa Public Radio's podcast Caucus Land. Before coming to the Midwest she was a reporter and fill-in host at member station WFSU in Tallahassee, Florida. Kate has won multiple awards for her political and feature reporting and her sound editing.

She is a proud North Florida native.

Send tips, recipes and road trip ideas to kpayne@iowapublicradio.org.

Kate's favorite public radio program is Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Thomas Hawk via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/14471621099/

As Iowa’s local law enforcement officers are beginning to adjust to the state’s new sanctuary cities law, they’re running into some constitutional questions.

Rachel Samerdyke / USFWS Midwest via flickr

Wildlife biologists need the help of Iowa residents to monitor frog and toad populations. The research could tell scientists more about the state’s water quality.

Kate Payne

Eastern Iowa officials are encouraging people to report any hate-related incidents. In the past few months Iowa City has seen white power fliers handed out in a neighborhood and anti-Semitic graffiti on the University of Iowa campus. Now local law enforcement and community leaders are asking for residents' help to identify and prevent potential hate crimes.

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

Facebook executive Mark Zuckerberg will have to answer to members of Congress this week about the company’s management of user data. He's slated to testify before a joint meeting of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees on Tuesday, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday. Here's some insight on what Iowa’s senior senator wants to hear.

Kate Payne

Iowa’s senior U.S. Senator is downplaying some of the concerns over proposed tariffs on Chinese imports. . Farmers are bracing for a potential trade war which could threaten corn, soybean and hog sales. While Sen. Chuck Grassley acknowledges the impacts could hurt farmers, he says it’s too early to be too worried.

The Shelter House via facebook / https://www.facebook.com/shelterhouseiowa/

An Iowa City nonprofit is starting construction on a new kind of housing development for those experiencing chronic homelessness. The unit is thought to be the only one in the state to use the “housing first" model. 

Kate Payne

Iowa U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst says she’s worried about the fate of DACA recipients in Iowa. The Republican lawmaker is voicing her concerns after President Donald Trump tweeted the program is "dead."

Thomas Favre-Bulle

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is expected to sign a bill that would require the state’s schools to plan for emergencies.  If SF 2364 goes into effect, administrators may need to make changes soon.

The University of Washington / http://depts.washington.edu/moving1/black_migration.shtml

The city of Waterloo has won more $47,500 in grant money to a study a historically black neighborhood

quasicasa via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/quasicasa/

Johnson County is raising its suggested minimum wage to $10.27 an hour. While officials can’t legally enforce the change, they hope it will set a new baseline for worker pay. 

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

A Cedar Rapids official wants Iowa’s medical marijuana law expanded. The statement comes after the state’s second largest city was passed over for a dispensary.

Dean Borg/IPR

Former Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett is asking a district court judge to restore his candidacy for governor.  A three-judge panel Tuesday ruled decided Corbett’s nomination papers were eight signatures short of what is needed to put him on the Republican June primary election ballot.

Corbett contends his nomination papers had more than enough valid signatures, and that what he calls the “Republican establishment” backing incumbent Gov. Reynolds is blocking his candidacy.

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

Five Iowa cities could soon have medical marijuana dispensaries after the state picked its preferred distributors Tuesday. Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Waterloo, Davenport and the Des Moines suburb of Windsor Heights are each slated to get a medical marijuana dispensary, if the companies accept the licenses by 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 28.

Kate Payne

When the U.S. men’s team won Olympic gold in curling for the first time this year, people all over the country paid attention. Since the historic win a month ago, one curling club in Iowa says interest in the sport is exploding. 

Seth Sawyers via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sidewalk_flying/

Gun control supporters in Iowa say they’ll continue to push for policy changes. Organizers hope to harness the energy from the marches that took place this past weekend.

Shiranai via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/shiraneeyo/

Johnson County officials are moving forward with a plan to symbolically raise the local minimum wage. The change would just be a recommendation because of state laws limiting local control of the issue.

Paul Allen / https://www.paulallen.com/uss-juneau-wreck-located-famous-for-sullivan-brothers/

Explorers have found the remains of the World War II battleship that carried Iowa’s five Sullivan Brothers. The wreckage of the USS Juneau now lies on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Soloman Islands. 

Jeff Bryant via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeff-m-bryant/

Wildlife scientists want southern Iowans to help monitor deer for chronic wasting disease. CWD is now in three counties in the state but conservationists are hopeful early intervention can slow its spread.

University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine / https://medicine.uiowa.edu/content/match-day-2017-medical-students-anticipate-residency-locations

For medical students in Iowa and throughout the country, Friday was Match Day. That's an anxiety-filled reveal ceremony where the soon-to-be graduates open sealed envelopes to find our where they'll do their residency training. The post-graduate programs are vital to earning a license to practice, and help determine if young doctors will stay in the state.

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

Southeast Iowa’s Des Moines County is seeing a significant increase in sexually transmitted diseases. The uptick comes after Planned Parenthood closed three of its clinics in the area last summer. But it’s not clear if that’s contributing to the increase.

Kate Payne

Joining students across the country, hundreds of Iowa students walked out of classes Wednesday to honor the 17 people killed at a school in Parkland, Florida one month ago. While some students were on spring break, others staged demonstrations in Dubuque, Davenport, Fairfield, Council Bluffs, Grinnell and West Liberty.

Brandy Berthelson via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/zoologist/

People in need of reproductive healthcare will soon have a new option in Burlington. A family planning clinic is opening almost a year after Planned Parenthood closed three of its Southeast Iowa facilities. 

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

Iowa has received 21 applications for five licenses to distribute medical marijuana. Potential sites for the dispensaries span the state from Sioux City to Davenport. 

Seabamirum via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/seabamirum/

Iowa schools with disproportionately high transportation costs are getting a funding boost from the state. But the one-time increase won’t get them very far.

Matthias Ripp via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/56218409@N03/

If state lawmakers go through with a plan to ban traffic cameras, local governments across Iowa could face budget cuts. The changes could be a double whammy for Sioux City.

Kate Payne

An Iowa City priest wants Congress to support young undocumented immigrants. Iowa's conference of Catholic Bishops is defending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program at a time when its future is unclear.

Kym Farnik via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cypheroz/

Iowa’s largest utility is doing away with its coal ash ponds. Instead of putting the toxic dust in wet pits, the MidAmerican Energy Company will put it in sealed landfills, or recycle it.