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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.

  • Woodbury County supervisors are moving ahead with an ordinance that would limit where wind turbines can be built in that western Iowa county. Democratic candidate for governor, Deidre DeJear says Iowa’s education system needs “damage control” as some schools face a teacher shortage. And Dyersville is getting $12.5 million to support construction of a permanent stadium next to the Field of Dreams site.
  • Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a couple of bills aimed at improving access to mental health services in Iowa. Drake University is partnering with a local hospital on a new clinic that will serve students and the community around its campus. And the Iowa owners of the Belmont Stakes’ winning horse are celebrating with free ice cream for kids in downtown Des Moines this afternoon.
  • Governor Kim Reynolds told her party convention over the weekend she will try again to give state support to parents who want to send their kids to private schools. The Cedar Rapids School Board later today considers a new contract for police in schools. And, Iowa nonprofits are getting $20 million to help expand their services.
  • Franken defeated two opponents to win the Democratic nomination, including former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer.
  • Three people are dead following a shooting outside a church in Ames Thursday evening. Elections officials say hand-deliver your absentee ballots to your county elections office, rather than mail it for Tuesday’s primary. And, the demand for food pantries is on the rise again.
  • As we head into the holiday weekend, Iowa boaters are being cautioned to watch for too much water on the Mississippi River, and too little in western Iowa. The IDOT is urging drivers to slow down and pay attention, and Des Moines hosts the state’s largest celebration of Asian heritage this weekend.
  • Iowa lawmakers pick up momentum toward wrapping up this legislative session. They’re not going to pass the governor’s proposal for private school scholarships, they are passing an overhaul of the bottle and can redemption law, and they’re putting the brakes on new casinos in the state for at least two years.
  • Democratic Senate candidate Abby Finkenauer is responding to concerns expressed by a prominent Democrat over remarks she made about a district court judge last month. U.S Rep. Ashley Hinson says the federal homeland security secretary isn’t properly securing the southern U.S. border. And, Iowa’s Department of Corrections is working to improve relations with Native communities in western Iowa.
  • Iowa Republicans have used procedural moves to keep some bills alive now that the second legislative deadline has passed. Gov. Kim Reynolds says she’s working with lawmakers to get her unemployment benefits changes passed this session. And if snow’s not your thing, Sioux City was the place to be this winter. It got way less snow than usual this season.
  • Iowa’s Democrats and Republicans caucused last night – without the crowds and fanfare of a presidential election year. Iowa has new laws aimed at improving mental health services to kids and adults, but delivering those services isn’t always easy. And a woman in Marshalltown discovered her home was being sold without her knowledge, because of a state law she knew nothing about.