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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Natalie Krebs / IPR

More than two dozen experts, parents and lawmakers gathered in West Des Moines on Friday to discuss issues surrounding childcare in the state.

The border fence between El Paso and Juarez.
Natalie Krebs / IPR

Immigrants in Iowa continue to play a greater role in the state’s economy. In some of these immigrant communities, there’s increased fear because of tighter enforcement of immigration laws under President Donald Trump. Democratic presidential candidates are running against his messages. They’re also proposing solutions to a system many people believe is broken.  


Kate Payne/IPR file

Environmental advocates are calling attention to the state of the Upper Mississippi River levee system, which was under pressure this past spring as communities saw record flooding.

Roan Lavery / Unsplash

Songwriter Frank Loesser wrote "Baby, It's Cold Outside" in 1944, essentially for the amusement of himself and his party guests.

Decades later, there's been fierce debate about what's implied in the back and forth conversation that comprises the lyrics. Ironically, the song was originally written as an invitation for someone to leave, not to stay. 

alamosbasement/flickr

Western Iowa’s Denison Community School District has determined a high school teacher who used a racial slur last week had “no malicious intent.”

President Trump built his 2016 campaign on stoking fears around immigration. Leading up to 2020, Democrats are running against his policies. On the fourteenth episode of Caucus Land, we’ll hear more about their immigration proposals. Plus, a look at a candidate who’s been campaigning in Iowa longer than anyone else this cycle.

Brett Levin / Flickr

The State Board of Education is reconsidering changes to the way schools use seclusion rooms to isolate students acting in a threatening way. The latest revisions come after several meetings were held across the state taking additional input on how to limit the use of the small rooms while allowing teachers discretion in managing their classrooms.

Amy Mayer / IPR file

As the closure of the comment period on an Environmental Protection Agency rule regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) approaches at the end of the month, farm state lawmakers and biofuels advocates continue their push for a deal they say the president promised them.

cady memorial service
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

Hundreds of Iowans gathered at Drake University in Des Moines Wednesday to remember the life of Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady, who died of a heart attack Friday night at the age of 66.

Four speakers, friends and colleagues of Cady, described a kind, compassionate man who dedicated his life to fairness and justice.

Iowa Turkey Federation

The state’s turkey industry is expected to benefit greatly from China’s announcement last week that it’s lifting the ban on U.S. poultry imports.

Iowa Turkey Federation Executive Director Greta Irwin explained after avian influenza devastated flocks in this country in 2015, China shut down imports.

Kate Payne/IPR

Seven Iowa cities are more welcoming to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people than the national average, according to a recent analysis by the Human Rights Campaign. The organization rated 506 cities across the country and nine cities in Iowa for its annual municipal equality index.

Kate Payne/IPR

Likely Democratic caucusgoers say climate change is increasingly among their top issues. In response, presidential candidates are rolling out ambitious policy goals to drastically cut emissions and retool the economy. But there are real questions about if the country can transition as quickly as Democrats are proposing.

Katie Peikes / IPR

Students from western Iowa’s Denison High School walked out of their classes in protest Tuesday morning, calling for an outside investigation into racism and diversity issues in the school. This comes after Denison Community Schools placed a teacher on leave for using a racial slur in class discussions last week. 

Amy Mayer / IPR file

The last cellulosic ethanol plant making biofuel from corn plant residue is downsizing.

POET-DSM’s Project Liberty in Emmetsburg, Iowa, came online in 2014. On Tuesday the joint venture between POET and DSM North America announced it’s scaling back from commercial production of the advanced biofuel to a research and development mission focused on exporting its technology.

Natalie Krebs / IPR

Judy Morrison said trouble began days after her mom died in 2016. That’s when her father found more than $600,000 missing from her mother’s bank account.

Kate Payne/IPR

Former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Deval Patrick says he will be competing in the Iowa caucuses. His late entrance to the race puts him at a distinct disadvantage in the state, where many of his competitors have been building grassroots organizations for months, and some of them for years.

alamosbasement/flickr

A state task force submitted recommendations to Iowa lawmakers Monday aimed at improving instruction for students with dyslexia and other struggling readers. Five to 17 percent of the population is estimated to have dyslexia.

mark cady
John Pemble/IPR

Advocates and politicians of all stripes are lamenting the death of Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady. He died Friday night of a heart attack at the age of 66, according to a statement from the judicial branch.

“The state lost a great man, husband, father, grandfather and jurist,” Cady’s family wrote in a statement.

John Pemble / IPR file

The organizers of Iowa’s Ride, a week-long bike ride across the state, announced on Facebook Friday that the route and direction of the event will change so it won’t directly compete with RAGBRAI. By moving the event, they are hoping to satisfy cycling clubs split on choosing which ride to support.

Government of Prince Edward Island / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

The state Department of Public Health has reported that two people have died from the flu. These are the first flu-related deaths reported in the state this year.

marijuana plants
Katarina Sostaric / IPR file

Two Democratic lawmakers said Friday Iowa’s medical cannabis program could be at risk if the state doesn’t expand it as Illinois prepares to legalize recreational marijuana in 2020.

Earlier this year, Iowa Republicans and Democrats voted to pass a bill that would allow dispensaries to sell more potent medical cannabis products. It also would’ve expanded the number of health care providers who are eligible to certify medical conditions for Iowans applying for medical cannabis cards.

Amy Mayer / IPR

During 2019, the curveballs thrown at farmers began with the partial government shutdown in January, when some U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies were closed. Spring brought a storm system—called a bomb cyclone—that dumped rain on top of frozen fields unable to make use of it, kicking off weeks of flooding exacerbated by additional precipitation. Planting ran later than usual and some farmers never got a cash crop into certain saturated fields.

By high summer, parts of the Corn Belt experienced drought conditions and some farmers were still harvesting corn and soybeans after the first snow fell in autumn.

UNI Foundation

A Cedar Falls couple is giving the University of Northern Iowa a multi-million dollar gift. David Takes is a member of the UNI Foundation Board of Trustees and a 1981 alumnus. Takes and his wife, Karen are donating $10 million to his alma mater. Their gift will support multiple programs and projects at UNI, including an endowment for business students, the school's mascot program and future capital improvements.

The scientific community says the world must zero out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. In response, Democratic presidential candidates are rolling out aggressive climate plans. On the thirteenth episode of Caucus Land, we'll talk about what it would take to meet those goals. And later, a conversation with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.


Defense attorney Jennifer Frese holds up a card that reads the Miranda Warning, a list of rights criminal suspects are told about when they face questioning.
Brian Powers / Des Moines Register pool photo

Investigators in the death of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts were questioned in Poweshiek County court Wednesday as defense attorneys pushed to suppress evidence that led to murder charges against Christhian Bahena Rivera.

Flickr

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued an emergency declaration for Iowa and several other Midwest states in response to an extreme demand for propane.

CEO of the Iowa Propane Gas Association Deb Grooms said part of the problem is that farmers in all of these states are trying to complete their harvest at the same time.

KBROOKES / FLICKR HTTPS://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY-NC-ND/2.0/

Iowa has one of the lowest survival rates for lung cancer in the nation, according to a new report by the American Lung Association.

Courtesy of UnityPoint Health

UnityPoint Health, one of Iowa's largest healthcare systems, has called off its merger with South Dakota-based Sanford Health.

Justin Brice Guariglia gave up photojournalism to pursue environmental activism a few years ago. Today, he is most well known for his large scale photographic, sculptural and installation-based works inspired by the relationship between the earth and humans. He uses art to try and get his point across that humans are having a negative impact on the planet. 

Joyce Russell / IPR file

The state attorney general's office has announced it will launch a tracking and reporting system for rape kits. 

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