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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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  • The second set of maps proposing new boundaries for Iowa's four congressional districts and all state legislative districts will be released Thursday morning. Governor Kim Reynolds announced on Wednesday that she plans to increase work search requirements for Iowans receiving unemployment benefits. Plus, a conversation about the city council races on the ballot in Des Moines.
  • Authorities are investigating threatening messages directed at Iowa Democratic Party chairman Ross Wilburn after The Des Moines Register published an editorial from Wilburn that criticized former President Trump. Law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant in New Sharon on Tuesday that is linked to the Xavior Harrelson case. Plus, the state’s top health official is encouraging all Iowans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu.
  • Representatives of the United Auto Workers and John Deere say contract talks have resumed amidst their factory workers striking in Iowa and other states. Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development will join U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in Iowa this week. Plus, Wind blade turbine manufacturer TPI Composites in Newton will lay off more than 700 workers by the end of the year.
  • The Iowa Medical Examiner's Office has confirmed that remains found in September are those of a boy who disappeared in May. The racial disparities in Iowa’s prisons continue to rank among the worst in the country, according to the latest analysis by the advocacy group The Sentencing Project. Plus, a prosecutor has ruled that a police officer who shot and paralyzed a man in Waterloo in April acted legally because the target appeared to be chasing a deputy with a shotgun.
  • Politicians are reacting to the thousands of John Deere factory workers who went on strike Thursday. Iowa’s Latino Hall of Fame induction ceremony this weekend will be completely virtual for the first time. Plus, at one small southwest Iowa school district, students take care of chickens, pigs, sheep and goats. IPR’s Katie Peikes reports on what having a small farm at school teaches kids.
  • Thousands of John Deere and Company workers, including in Iowa, are officially on strike for the first time in 35 years. The state Attorney General’s office has announced it is partnering with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to launch a new opioid treatment program. Plus, the latest Iowa Climate Statement says Iowa needs targeted investments to strengthen and expand its electrical grid, in order to prepare for extreme weather events brought on by climate change.
  • Early voting for city and school board elections begins in Iowa on Wednesday. Republican Jon Dunwell won a special election Tuesday night for the Iowa House of Representatives district that covers Newton and other parts of Jasper County. Plus, a plan to build a carbon dioxide pipeline through 30 Iowa counties is raising concerns among farmers and environmentalists.
  • The Iowa Department of Education hasn’t rescheduled an equity conference for teachers after saying in the spring that it would be postponed to the fall. The city of Cedar Rapids is allocating $10 million in federal pandemic relief funds to help pay for its Flood Control System. Plus, the Iowa Democratic Party yesterday (Monday) asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks' 2020 financial disclosure.
  • Former President Donald Trump endorsed U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley over the weekend at a campaign-style rally at the state fairgrounds. The US Department of Agriculture is putting another $100 million into a program designed to improve supply chains for meat and poultry processing. Plus, IPR’s Natalie Krebs visited a hospital in Des Moines as the number of Iowans who are hospitalized with COVID-19 remains high across the state.
  • Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at a rally on the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines Saturday night. Iowa Democratic leaders say Republican leaders should promise they won’t draw their own political boundaries. Plus, tractor accidents are the leading cause of death and serious injuries on farms.