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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.

  • A couple of communities in southwest Iowa are waiting for levee certification so that they can prepare for future floods. High school students in Dubuque have a new resource to help with mental health needs. And, new inductees are announced for Iowa’s Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Iowa lawmakers are working on ideas for attracting and retaining teachers from more diverse backgrounds. Downtown Sioux City is seeing growth after the completion of four major construction and renovation projects. And, Happy Birthday, Iowa! Our state joined the Union 175 years ago today.
  • U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller Meeks says she expects a tough bid for re-election in Iowa’s new First Congressional District. Iowa State Extension plans meetings in the new years to find ways to help cow and calf producers who took a hit from this year’s drought. And, poinsettias might not be as toxic as you think.
  • Lawmakers return to the Iowa Capitol this week to consider new legislative and congressional district maps – and maybe action against workplace COVID vaccine mandates. A new report says the federal SNAP program is a bigger help to rural parts of the country than it is to people in cities. And an Iowan is getting ready to rocket into space early Halloween morning.
  • Iowa lawmakers will be in Des Moines tomorrow to vote on new legislative and congressional district maps. The price of farmland in Iowa and much of the Midwest skyrocketed last year. And supply chain experts recommend you start holiday shopping a little earlier than usual this year.
  • 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.