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IPR reporters look ahead to the stories they'll watch in 2022

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COVID-19 and its impact on meatpacking workers, the future of mask mandates in schools and the campaign trails emerging for 2022 are all stories that IPR will continue to follow into the new year.

The beginning of the year is a time to look ahead. On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer looks ahead with Iowa Public Radio's reporters and the work they're planning for 2022.

Kassidy Arena talks about her work unpacking the experiences of a Sioux City family who migrated to the state to work at meatpacking plants. She said to look ahead to her coming work on the environment and some collaboration with IPR's statehouse reporter Katarina Sostaric on voting.

Katie Peikes discusses her work from 2021 covering Hamburg, Iowa's struggle to secure levee protections from more-and-more common flooding along the Missouri River. She said to look ahead to her reporting on ethanol and vertical farming.

Grant Gerlock describes his reporting on Iowa K-12 schools and their response to COVID-19 safety measures like mask mandates as well as the fall strike at John Deer and its impact on Iowa workers.

Natalie Krebs investigated meatpacking facilities in the state and the extent to which Iowa is prepared for challenges now nearly two years into the pandemic. She also touches on the reality of racial disparities in how the state's Black and Latino communities have fared during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kendall Crawford—IPR's newest reporter—talks about getting her beat started in Sioux City. She touches on efforts to bring computer programming skills into elementary schools and her coming work on housing and mental health in rural Iowa.

Lastly, Clay Masters talks about Supreme Beef LLC effort to put a 11,600 head open feedlot near the headwaters of Bloody Run Creek in northeast Iowa. Also what we can expect on the campaign trail as Iowa's oldest Senator tries to keep his seat.

Guests:

  • Kassidy Arena, Report for America corps member covering Iowa’s Latino and Spanish-speaking communities for Iowa Public Radio
  • Katie Peikes, Harvest Public Media reporter for Iowa Public Radio
  • Grant Gerlock, central Iowa reporter for Iowa Public Radio
  • Natalie Krebs, healthcare reporter for Iowa Public Radio
  • Kendall Crawford, western Iowa reporter for Iowa Public Radio
  • Clay Masters, lead political reporter for Iowa Public Radio and host of Morning Edition
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River