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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
    Thursday, April 22nd, 2021
    Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican, reacted Wednesday to this week’s verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd last year. The leader of the Iowa National Guard is encouraging all eligible Iowans to get vaccinated for COVID-19 as demand for the vaccine appears to be decreasing. Plus, IPR Health reporter Natalie Krebs reports on the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and how it has disrupted clinics aimed at vaccinating some of Iowa’s most vulnerable residents, those experiencing homelessness.
  • People in Iowa joined those across the country in reacting to Tuesday's verdicts in the Derek Chauvin trial. IPR’s Kassidy Arena also has reaction from a state lawmaker who has been active in advocating for racial justice in Iowa. At the statehouse, a group of Iowa school districts with voluntary diversity plans would have to end open enrollment restrictions under a bill now headed to Governor Kim Reynolds. Plus, Senate Republicans are making another attempt to pass legislation that would require additional verification of Iowans’ eligibility for food assistance and Medicaid.
  • Here First
    Tuesday, April 20th, 2021
    A top workplace safety regulator has warned the Republican leaders of the Iowa Legislature that conditions inside the state Capitol are hazardous and may be exposing workers to the coronavirus. Community activists in Des Moines are continuing to call for a police officer accused in the past of excessive force to be removed as a de-escalation trainer for the department. IPR’s Grant Gerlock has a brief recap of Monday’s Des Moines city council meeting. Plus, IPR’s Katarina Sostaric explains that the city of Cedar Rapids’ insurance carrier has agreed to pay an $8 million settlement related to a 2016 police shooting of a Black man.
  • Here First
    Monday, April 19th, 2021
    A bill that criminalizes certain types of trespassing on agricultural properties has passed the Iowa legislature and now awaits Governor Kim Reynolds’ signature. In Congress, Republican Congresswoman Ashley Hinson is co-sponsoring legislation to make a retroactive change in the federal Paycheck Protection Program for some farmers and small business owners. Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne is calling on congressional leaders to include money for the renewable fuels industry in the infrastructure bill they're crafting. Plus, we check in with IPR State Government reporter Katarina Sostaric about current issues at the statehouse.
  • Here First
    Friday, April 16th, 2021
    State health officials have announced that the first case of a COVID-19 variant, commonly known as the Brazilian variant, has been confirmed in Iowa. Iowa City’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has resumed operations, after city officials temporarily suspended it following a string of resignations and contentious public meetings. IPR’s Kate Payne explains the city council has since filled the vacancies and held a joint meeting with the new board Thursday night while local Black Lives Matter activists held their own commission meeting. Plus, we conclude Harvest Public Media’s series on Midwest rivers with reports from Illinois and Oklahoma.
  • Here First
    Thursday, April 15th, 2021
    Governor Kim Reynolds says she expects the temporary pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to be manageable for Iowa. IPR Health reporter Natalie Krebs updates us on the coronavirus vaccine rollout in the state. Republicans in the Iowa Senate have advanced a $6.3 million budget increase for the Department of Corrections, less than the House proposal to raise prison funding by $20 million. Both chambers are proposing bigger increases than usual in response to the killings last month of two Anamosa prison employees. Plus, a report from Harvest Public Media on the unclear affect and environmental benefits of the green energy movement on barges.
  • Here First
    Wednesday, April 14th, 2021
    A top state health expert is urging Iowans to be patient and not make judgments about the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine until data has been analyzed by experts. The Iowa City Community School District is shortening the quarantine time for some students exposed to the coronavirus. IPR’s Grant Gerlock explains that the district had required a 14-day quarantine but the school board adopted guidelines from the Iowa Department of Public Health allowing students to go back after 10 days if they show no symptoms or 7 days with a negative coronavirus test. Plus, a small southwest Iowa town has been given the green light to build a levee higher to better defend it from flooding. IPR’s Katie Peikes reports on why this doesn’t occur much and what’s unique about it happening for Hamburg.
  • Here First
    Tuesday, April 13th, 2021
    A spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Public Health says “it is likely" that the B.1.1.7 variant is the most common in the state. The University of Iowa held its first public forum on Monday with one of the candidates to be the school’s next president. Hari Osofsky is currently the dean of the schools of Law and International Affairs at Penn State. IPR’s Kate Payne tells us about her public forum. House Republicans have advanced a state education budget that includes no increase in funding for Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, and the University of Iowa. Plus, we hear a report from Harvest Public Media about farmers along the Missouri River who are suing the Army Corps of Engineers for their management of the river.
  • Here First
    Monday, April 12th, 2021
    Hundreds of mourners lined the highway into Independence as the hearse carrying the body of 51-year-old Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Jim Smith passed by on Sunday. Smith was shot to death late Friday night during a stand-off with a Grundy Center man. Getting to COVID-19 vaccine appointments can be challenging for Iowans who are unable to leave their homes without assistance. More efforts have been made to reach out to Iowa’s Latino communities about COVID-19 vaccines, but IPR’s Kassidy Arena reports that they’re not always successful. Plus, a conversation with IPR State Government reporter Katarina Sostaric about recent happenings at the statehouse.
  • Here First
    Friday, April 9th, 2021
    Governor Kim Reynolds says she has rejected a federal request to accept migrant children into the state, saying the need to find homes for them "is the president's problem.” Black Lives Matter activists protested at the Iowa Capitol on Thursday. They’re asking lawmakers to reject bills that would increase police protections, raise penalties for protest-related crimes, and limit diversity and inclusion lessons. Plus, the Iowa Department of Human Services is considering policies to encourage more staff members at its six facilities to take the COVID-19 vaccine. IPR’s Natalie Krebs explains most recent numbers from the department indicate 36% of employees have declined the vaccine.