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Here First
Daily, Monday - Friday

Start your day equipped with the essential local news you need to know. Host Clay Masters shares the top news stories of the morning in under 15 minutes, available weekdays by 7 a.m. Listen Here First.

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Latest Episodes
  • Here First
    Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021
    A district court judge has ruled Iowa’s law requiring a 24-hour abortion waiting period is unconstitutional and can’t be enforced. IPR State Government reporter Katarina Sostaric explains that Republican lawmakers passed it last June, even though the Iowa Supreme Court had previously determined a 72-hour waiting period is unconstitutional. University of Iowa Football Coach Kirk Ferentz says the shift towards compensating student athletes for playing is a “positive” development. IPR’s Kate Payne has reaction from the Hawkeye head coach to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning a NCAA rule limiting education-related compensation for college players. Plus, the Department of Corrections is staffing up.
  • Here First
    Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021
    The Board of Regents will consider a proposal for tuition increases at the three state universities in a meeting later this week. State lawmakers denied the board’s request for an increase in funding in 2021. The number of travelers at Iowa airports is rebounding from the impact of the pandemic, but IPR’s Grant Gerlock tells us it is not yet back to normal. Plus, demand for the COVID-19 vaccine in Iowa has dropped sharply and the state hasn’t yet reached the level of herd immunity. IPR Health reporter Natalie Krebs has an update on the state’s vaccination campaign.
  • Here First
    Monday, June 21st, 2021
    An annual report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation has ranked Iowa ninth overall for child well-being. IPR Health reporter Natalie Krebs explains that The Kids Count report ranks states on economic well-being, education, health as well as family and community. Entrepreneurs and artists lined the streets of downtown Des Moines Saturday to celebrate Juneteenth as well as Pride Month. IPR’s Kassidy Arena tells us they were taking part in the very first 515 Manifestival. Plus, the CEO of Iowa's largest water utility says Friday’s Iowa Supreme Court's dismissal of a lawsuit that was seeking mandatory regulation of farm fertilizer in the Raccoon River watershed is a setback.
  • Governor Kim Reynolds signed a law that raises penalties for protest-related offenses and expands some police protections. IPR’s Katarina Sostaric tells us that Black Democratic leaders in Iowa say the governor’s signing of a policing bill on Thursday is a step backward for the state. Organizers for a first-of-its-kind Juneteenth event in Des Moines say this year’s celebration holds special meaning. Plus, many people learn about farming by growing up on a farm or in school. Some people learn by playing and watching video games. Harvest Public Media’s Jonathan Ahl reports on the growing world of the game Farming Simulator.
  • Governor Kim Reynolds signed a wide-ranging tax bill into law on Wednesday. IPR State Government reporter Katarina Sostaric explains that it allows more income tax cuts to kick in, phases out backfill payments to local governments, and shifts mental health funding from local property taxes to the state. IPR’s Kate Payne tells us about an Iowa advocacy group that is providing support to teachers who feel targeted by a new state law that limits certain teachings and trainings dealing with racism and sexism. Plus, Iowa is ending its coronavirus testing program next month saying demand has fallen for testing at the state-funded drive-thru and clinic sites.
  • Here First
    Wednesday, June 16th, 2021
    Democrat Ras Smith formally launched his campaign for governor at an event in his hometown of Waterloo on Tuesday. IPR’s Kate Payne has the details from his campaign kickoff. The new minority leader in the Iowa House of Representatives spoke with reporters for the first time following her election to lead the Democrats in that chamber. Plus, the Polk County Board of Supervisors has approved a lottery to incentivize residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine. IPR Health reporter Natalie Krebs explains that officials hope to get 75% of that county’s eligible residents vaccinated by the end of the State Fair on August 22.
  • Here First
    Tuesday, June 15th, 2021
    The largest water utility is asking its customers to cut its water usage back by 25% because of low river levels. Iowa House Democrats voted yesterday (Monday) to elect Representative Jennifer Konfrst of Windsor Heights as the new House Minority leader. Another Iowan has been arrested and charged for their alleged role in the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Plus, IPR’s Kassidy Arena says many Iowa music venues are still waiting for federal funding to help them keep their doors open during the pandemic.
  • Here First
    Monday, June 14th, 2021
    Demand for COVID-19 vaccines continues to lag in Iowa, especially in the state’s rural counties. IPR’s Kate Payne tells us that vaccination rates in southern and northwestern Iowa trail those in more urban areas. The former head of the Iowa Department of Human Services is suing Governor Kim Reynolds over his ouster in 2019. Plus, this week is the first week Iowans will no longer receive an additional 300 dollars in weekly federal unemployment benefits. IPR Health reporter Natalie Krebs says Iowa is one of the first four states to end the federal pandemic-related benefit.
  • Here First
    Friday, June 11th, 2021
    Governor Kim Reynolds demands a congressional hearing after migrant children were brought to Iowa in April for unification with their sponsors without notification. Two Democratic candidates have already announced they’re running to replace longtime Polk County Attorney John Sarcone just a day after he said he would not seek re-election. IPR’s Kate Payne tells us one of the declared candidates formerly ran for U.S. Senate in Iowa. The Midwest region has some of the highest rates of rented farmland in the country and that can have environmental consequences. Harvest Public Media offers an analysis of the environmental impact of tenant farming.
  • Here First
    Thursday, June 10th, 2021
    Demand for vaccines in Iowa continues is continuing to decline. Iowa counties can now recognize emergency medical services as “essential”, under a bill signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds on Wednesday. IPR’s Kate Payne says that unlike fire and police services, local governments in Iowa have not been required to provide EMS. Plus, we get a report from Side Effects Public Media about Black Lives Matter and how it’s more than a movement to fight violence against Black people. It’s also involved in health and feeding programs.