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Here First
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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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  • Masks to slow the spread of COVID-19 will continue to be required in Iowa courtrooms and some proceedings may continue to be held via teleconference under orders issued by the Iowa Supreme Court chief justice. The University of Iowa has been ordered to pay out nearly $2 million for unfairly discriminating against two Christian student organizations. Plus, the Des Moines City Council has approved funding for a program that looks to settle conflicts in the community before they lead to gun violence.
  • A group of Iowa lawmakers is meeting Monday to consider the potential for a statewide Brady List system. That’s a list of law enforcement officers whose credibility is in question because they lied or committed crimes. A state wildlife area in western Iowa is shifting its approach to forest conservation. Plus, 1988 and 1996 Republican Iowa caucus winner Bob Dole has died.
  • Iowa is getting $110.7 million from the federal government to upgrade water systems and improve water quality. The top Democrat in the Iowa House expects Republicans will propose new abortion restrictions during the 2022 Iowa Legislature session. Plus, Ottumwa High School will soon add a new program to its curriculum.
  • Iowa state health officials are reporting statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations and infections continue to rise. An Iowa infectious disease doctor who has been a prominent critic of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is again running for an Iowa House of Representatives seat. Plus, as the gift-giving season begins, one Latino nonprofit says they have fewer sponsors for its “Adopt a Family” program.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a case Wednesday that could lead to a reversal of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and open the door to more abortion restrictions. For a Roe v. Wade overturn to affect Iowa, there would have to be a new state Supreme Court decision or voters would have to approve a constitutional amendment. Former TV journalist and nonprofit leader Tiffany O’Donnell will be the next mayor of Cedar Rapids. Plus, Iowa law enforcement leaders say they have cleared a backlog of thousands of untested sexual assault kits.
  • A federal judge has temporarily blocked a national vaccine mandate for health care workers. Iowa is one of the 10 states where the mandate can’t be enforced because of the court order. Tuesday is Election Day for the Cedar Rapids runoff mayoral race. Plus, the Iowa Utilities Board hosted the first of many public hearings regarding a proposed carbon pipeline that would run through 36 Iowa counties in Rock Rapids.
  • The two teenagers charged with the murder of a high school Spanish teacher in Fairfield are scheduled to be back in court on Monday. Iowans will get a chance to weigh in on a proposal to build a carbon dioxide pipeline that would run the length of the state. Dozens of public meetings begin Monday on the Heartland Greenway project. Plus, a University of Iowa study has found people with Alzheimer’s disease are more likely to die from COVID-19.
  • As Iowa’s COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been increasing going into Thanksgiving, Governor Kim Reynolds is highlighting that Iowa is in a better position than last year. The two teenagers charged with killing a high school Spanish teacher in Fairfield were back in court asking to be released ahead of trial. Plus, a conversation with IPR’s Kate Payne about the runoff mayor’s race in Cedar Rapids.
  • A Polk County judge has ruled the state can no longer block Medicaid coverage for transgender Iowans seeking medically necessary gender-affirming surgeries. An Iowa-based newspaper chain is facing a buyout bid from a hedge fund that has a history of cutting jobs at other newspapers it has acquired. Plus, health experts in the state are warning Iowans that this year’s flu season could be severe.
  • Iowa’s COVID-19 hospitalizations and community transmission rates remain high heading into the Thanksgiving weekend. The Midwest has seen a rise in the number of agricultural guest workers this year helping out on farms, in meatpacking plants and with landscaping companies. Plus, a look at how water quality issues in the Midwest are exacerbated by a changing climate.