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Michael Leland

News Director

Michael joined IPR in 2015 and has overseen initiatives such as the establishment of IPR’s western Iowa beat, and fulltime health reporting position. He has also led newsrooms at Wisconsin Public Radio and Michigan Radio. Before getting into management, Michael’s reporting career took him to a variety of places, from Chicago City Hall, to a former coal mine 600 feet under southern Illinois, to an Inuit community in far northern Canada. After nearly 35 years in broadcast journalism, Michael says he’s always learning new things and that this is a very exciting and rewarding time to be in journalism!

Michael is a New Englander who came to the Midwest for graduate school in the mid '80s and decided to call this part of the country home. He has a master’s in Journalism and Mass Communication from Kansas State University. His undergraduate degree is in Communications and Business Administration from Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts.

Contact Michael at mleland@iowapublicradio.org.

  • The number of COVID-19 cases in the Cedar Rapids area is increasing significantly. Eight Linn County residents have died of COVID complications this month, compared to one in July. An Iowa City law professor and state representative becomes the first Democrat to jump into the 2022 2nd Congressional District race. And, a judge has dismissed Iowa pork producers’ challenge of a new California animal confinement law.
  • Iowa’s largest school district holds an online town hall meeting tonight to answer questions about returning to school amid another wave of coronavirus infections. And, some Afghans living in Iowa say they’re worried about friends and family members still living in Afghanistan as the Taliban seizes control.
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to increase in Iowa. Gov. Reynolds is joining other Republican governors in calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn previous rulings on abortion. And Republican state Rep. John Landon of Ankeny has died at the age of 71.
  • Tuition’s going up this fall at Iowa’s public universities. Gov. Reynolds says Iowa state troopers deployed along the U.S.-Mexico border are back in Iowa. She says it was the “right thing to do.” And the very longtime mayor of Manchester, Iowa, says this will be his last term.
  • Gov. Kim Reynolds is rejecting new face mask recommendations from the CDC – even though nearly half of Iowa’s counties have substantial or high transmission of COVID-19. The man convicted of killing Mollie Tibbetts in 2018 was back in court yesterday, asking for a new trial. And lawmakers in Washington hold a hearing today on a lack of competition in the cattle market.
  • Many Iowa school districts are spending at least part of the summer revising policies around diversity and inclusion to comply with a new state law. House Democrats want Gov. Kim Reynolds to fill vacancies on the state board of health. And, Des Moines is joining a national effort to track the spread of COVID-19 by testing wastewater.
  • Wednesday is the deadline to apply for grants to support broadband expansion in Iowa. Community members in Montezuma say they won’t give up looking for Xavior Harrelson, two months after the 11-year-old disappeared. And roughly 70 percent of Iowa is still in some form of drought, with no significant rain in the forecast.
  • Iowa could get up to $170 million from a nationwide opioid lawsuit settlement. Former 1st District Democratic U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer will try to unseat longtime Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley. And thousands of cyclists are headed to LeMars for the start of RAGBRAI. The annual bike ride across Iowa gets underway Sunday.
  • Seventeen Iowa Republican lawmakers want a health care company to explain why it’s requiring workers at seven Iowa hospitals to get a COVID-19 vaccine. In Washington, U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks delivered remarks urging Iowans to get vaccinated. And an organization that works against human trafficking says cases in the U.S. increased during the pandemic.
  • The University of Iowa’s new president says she believes academic freedom is critical to the institution’s success. Many Iowa Latinos’ future status is in limbo after a judge in Texas last week ruled the DACA program unconstitutional. And Sen. Chuck Grassley is among lawmakers calling on the Biden administration to create a national strategy to address the country’s overdose crisis.