IPR News Stories

As the first in the nation voting state, Iowa is where all presidential candidates begin - and many end - their campaign to the White House. Join IPR reporters Clay Masters and Kate Payne as they delve into Iowa's role in shaping the nominating field - from Iowa's caucus history to the candidates, the moments and people that shape the 2020 presidential cycle. 

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Katie Peikes / IPR

Some Iowa farmers and ethanol industry advocates say a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposal released last week to account for lost demand for renewable fuels because of small refinery waivers is not what President Donald Trump promised. But at a news conference following a meeting in South Dakota with three Midwest Republican governors, the governors said President Trump is committed, and a friend to farmers.

Clay Masters / IPR

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren says in the coming weeks she will start unveiling her plan for paying for Medicare for All. Critics have said she has been avoiding saying whether or not her healthcare plan would raise taxes on the middle class. 

Beth Teutschmann / Unsplash

Think October is the best month of the year? You're not alone. 

As you breathe in the smell of the falling leaves and wrap your hands around a cup of apple cider wearing your favorite flannel, take heart knowing there's a camp of Iowa based musicians who have written and recorded you the perfect soundtrack. 

Amy Mayer / IPR

The State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston, Iowa, has sloped auditorium-style seating and plenty of outlets to keep laptops and cell phones charged. This is where officials gather during and immediately after tornadoes and massive flooding.

It’s the center for crisis control. 

Gabrielle Ludlow / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

An Iowa State state study has found that two out of five young adults have a substance use disorder.

The study, which was published in the Journal of American College Health, surveyed more than 3,200 young adults both in college and not in college and found nearly 40 percent of college students and more than 44 percent of their non-college peers had at least one substance use disorder within the past year. 

Pat Blank / IPR

In October, 26-year-old Eric Furleigh opened the door to a fruit and vegetable storage and packing facility for the last time this year. He and his family operate Furleigh Farms near Clear Lake which is the aggregation center for a young program called Bounty Box.

Amy Mayer / IPR

The founder of a global vegetable seed company will receive the 2019 World Food Prize in a ceremony Thursday at the Iowa State Capitol.

Pregnancy On The Farm Comes With Its Own Set Of Risks

Oct 17, 2019

In the fall, livestock veterinarian Dr. Bailey Lammers is often busy with vaccinating calves and helping wean them from their mothers.

A herd of auburn cattle greeted her at the barn gate during one of her house calls in northeastern Nebraska, peering from behind the dirt-caked bars. Lammers and her technician Sadie Kalin pulled equipment from tackleboxes in the back of Lammers’ truck.  

Healthcare commonly polls as one of voters' top issues and political candidates have been running campaigns on it for years. This cycle, Democrats are having a very different conversation about how to fundamentally transform the way Americans get care. On the tenth episode of Caucus Land we talk about where candidates stand on healthcare and what their plans could mean for patients and providers.

Lindsey Moon/IPR

Health care, and how to pay for it, is one of the biggest topics of debate this election season. More than half the state’s hospitals are operating in the red, according to the Iowa Hospital Association, while the Kaiser Family Foundation found Iowans’ per capita spending on healthcare is sharply increasing

Clay Masters / IPR file

Iowa biofuels groups are calling on President Donald Trump to resolve a dispute with the Environmental Protection Agency that one farmer called “disgusting and disappointing.”

Thomas Hawk via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/14471621099/

Democratic presidential candidates debated for the fourth time Tuesday night, this time in suburban Columbus, Ohio. The debate comes at a time when Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is ascending in Iowa and national polls. But for some Iowans, Warren’s new status as a frontrunner is refreshing some underlining concerns, particularly when it comes to healthcare policy.

reynolds with NAACP leaders
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Tuesday she is forming a committee tasked with recommending policies aimed at reducing the rate of ex-offenders returning to prison and removing bias from Iowa’s criminal justice system.

Elly Hofmaier

At the age of 21, Lily DeTaeye may not come across as a veteran of the music business, but she’s been writing and performing music for more than a decade.

This Friday, the Des Moines singer-songwriter will release her first full-length album, “BiTe Back,” along with a music video for the first single, “Peppermint.” 

Michael Leland/ IPR file

The entire staff of RAGBRAI, the annual bike ride across Iowa, has resigned over the Des Moines Register’s handling of the Carson King story.

Natalia Zubko

A giant piece of public art is going up in Des Moines’ Water Works Park. The work is part sculpture and part musical performance.

The piece near the recently opened amphitheater in Water Works is called “River Constellation.” It’s the result of a collaboration between Brooklyn, New York based sculptor Natalia Zubko and composer Beau Kenyon, a native of Creston.

courtesy of Red Fern Farm

It may be harvest season, but Iowa’s chestnut trees don’t have much to offer after spending 10 consecutive months in soil with too much moisture.

Rains began saturating soils in September 2018, an abrupt hard freeze in November locked in the moisture, spring brought repeated freeze-thaw cycles and then more rain.  

Tom Wahl of Red Fern Farm in Louisa County has about a thousand chestnut trees and usually they produce a lucrative crop on his diverse farm.  

Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/geoggirl/5562793765/in/album-72157627724954646/

Sioux City has taken the first step towards repealing an ordinance banning pit bulls and pit bull mixes in the city. City staff recommend repealing the 11-year-old ban as animal regulations across the country ditch restrictions on specific breeds of dogs and turn to more "breed neutral" regulations.

State Capitol Ceiling
John Pemble / IPR file

State revenue forecasters urged caution Monday as they estimated Iowa revenue growth to be much slower this budget year than in the previous one.

“While everything looks pretty good, there are still some warning signs out there,” said Department of Management Director David Roederer.

Amy Mayer / IPR file

The United States will not implement increases to tariffs on Chinese goods that were scheduled for Oct. 15. This slight easing of trade tensions follows productive meetings in Washington last week that President Donald Trump says led to a tentative trade deal.

Cedar Bridge Reopens

Oct 14, 2019
Sarah Boden/IPR file

A historic bridge in Madison County reopened over the weekend during the annual Covered Bridge Festival. Two-and-a-half years ago it was destroyed by an act of arson.  The rebuilding of the Cedar Bridge cost nearly $750,000 and had to be paid for by donations and grants because it wasn’t insured.

Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump for asking foreign governments to dig up dirt on his potential rival Joe Biden continues to dominate talk in Washington. Some of the candidates were in Des Moines this weekend answering questions from Iowans. Impeachment didn’t dominate the conversations, but it doesn’t mean it’s not on their minds.

Lyle Muller / IowaWatch

Fewer than half of the vehicles from the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s two largest law enforcement divisions were equipped to give officers the option of locking up weapons in those vehicles with designated equipment such as locking rifle racks or handgun vaults as recently as May 2019, an IowaWatch investigation revealed.

polk county court
Stephen Matthew Milligan / Wikimedia Commons

The process for selecting Iowa Supreme Court justices and appeals court judges was discussed in Polk County District Court again Friday as part of the second lawsuit over changes Republican lawmakers made earlier this year.

U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

More than 50,000 -- or 16 percent -- of Iowa's children ages 10 to 17 are considered obese, according to data released this week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Courtesy of CDC

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing some major changes to a longstanding rule that regulates lead in drinking water.

scott ourth
John Pemble / IPR

State Rep. Scott Ourth has been charged with drunken driving after a weekend arrest in northwest Iowa.

Ourth is a Democrat from Ackworth, representing part of Warren County south of Des Moines. According to a complaint filed in Cherokee County, police on Saturday night saw a truck with its headlights off.

Vice President Mike Pence and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds greet the crowd at a rally on a farm near the Des Moines suburb of Waukee promoting the U.S. Mexico Canada trade agreement.
Grant Gerlock / IPR

Vice President Mike Pence says Congress should act quickly to ratify a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada by the end of the year. Pence travelled to Iowa Wednesday to pressure Democratic lawmakers to hurry the trade deal through the House.

courtesy Mark Gleason

By design, organic agriculture limits the products that can be applied to crops to kill pests and weeds, so farmers often look for other strategies to reduce risk.

Short, fabric-covered tunnels could be the solution for certain organic crops. Researchers at Iowa State University have developed mid-sized mesh-covered tunnels, dubbed “mesotunnels,” that let sunlight and rain in, but keep many bugs out.

IPR/Pat Blank

On a warm September Saturday, David Shindelar is giving a tour of his Grazing Goat Dairy in rural Chickasaw County.