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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Pat Blank / IPR

As part of the many service events being held around the country Monday, a group of volunteers in Northeast Iowa is hoping to set a record for packaging food items to assist a local food bank.

Michael Leland / IPR

Several hundred people gathered at Drake University Monday morning for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day prayer breakfast.  The annual event honors the life and message of the slain civil rights leader. 

John Pemble / IPR

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will have an advantage over the Senators running for his party’s nomination as President Trump’s impeachment trial begins Tuesday. The trial centers on the president pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters sat down with the former vice president before a Saturday campaign event at Simpson College in Indianola.

courtesy of Christopher Gannon/ISU

Farmers and landowners enrolling acres in the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program have a new practice available to them.

Areas of native grasses and flowers, called prairie strips, have proven helpful in keeping soil in place, preventing nutrients from washing away and increasing the presence of birds and bees.

John Pemble / IPR

The Iowa General Assembly lasts two years.  As legislators pick up where they left off in 2019, we hear priorities from both parties and Gov. Kim Reynolds lays out her budget and policy proposals in the Condition of the State. The first week of this session also has new leadership roles for the majority party in the House of Representatives.

Katie Peikes / IPR

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign sent in some surrogates this week to motivate women voters ahead of the Iowa caucuses. An arm of Trump’s 2020 campaign called Women for Trump brought its bus tour and message to Sioux City on Thursday.

Tom Sparks/Flickr creative commons / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Iowa Democrats have until Friday to preregister to caucus this February as part of the state party's new early check-in process.

Michael Leland

December in Iowa can feel like a magical wonderland of lights. January and February in Iowa can feel like a cold, dark wasteland. There are lots of wonderful arts events happening across the state this winter. Here’s a list of a few we think are worth leaving your house for, some of which are indoors and some that celebrate the winter weather. 

jake chapman
John Pemble/IPR

Republican senators renewed their effort Thursday to amend the Iowa Constitution to say it does not protect a right to abortion.

Originally proposed around this time last year, the amendment is an attempt to undo a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that protects a fundamental right to abortion in the state.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

Last year, Iowa lawmakers set aside $15 million for flood recovery projects. A state board awarded all of the money to affected communities in eastern and western Iowa. Now, dozens more flood recovery projects are on the table, waiting for the state legislature to put more money in.   


david wiggins
John Pemble / IPR

The acting chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court highlighted the importance of respecting government institutions in his Condition of the Judiciary speech before the Iowa Legislature Wednesday.

Acting Chief Justice David Wiggins said he drew on the ideas of the late Chief Justice Mark Cady to talk about the respect the courts have for elected officials. He said both are set up to speak for the people of Iowa in different ways.

reynolds
John Pemble / IPR

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds called for big changes to Iowa’s tax system in her third Condition of the State address Tuesday, but lawmakers say they need more details before backing her proposal.

Amy Mayer / IPR file

The first phase of a new trade agreement between the United States and China is scheduled for a White House signing ceremony Wednesday, and many in the agriculture community are hoping the deal will bring some relief to the farm economy.

The Phase One agreement will begin to resolve the nearly two year exchange of tariffs the two countries have levied on each other’s goods—the United States in an attempt, the Trump administration says, to pressure China to reform some of its trade policies and China in retaliation.

John Pemble

Monday is the first day of the 2020 legislative session.  For the fourth session in a row, Republicans have control of the governor’s office, the House of Representatives and the Senate. Morning Edition host Clay Masters talks with IPR state government reporter Katarina Sostaric about what to expect this legislative session.

 

pat grassley
John Pemble / IPR

This post was updated Monday, Jan. 13 at 4:52 p.m. 

The Iowa House of Representatives officially elected Rep. Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, as the new Speaker of the House when the 2020 legislative session began Monday morning.

“Over the next 100 days…let’s make sure that we show Iowans that we are not like Washington, D.C.,” Grassley said in his first speech as speaker. 

Clay Masters / IPR

A respected poll out this weekend in Iowa shows 45 percent of likely Democratic caucusgoers say they could still be persuaded to support someone else. The state's caucuses, which are first in the presidential nominating process, are now about three weeks away. 

The Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll also says 13 percent of those likely to caucus on February 3 have not picked a favorite.

Mark Garcia / NASA

The first class of astronauts to graduate under NASA's Artemis program was honored at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston Friday. One of the graduates is Cedar Falls native Raja Chari.

Chari spent two years in training after attending the Air Force Academy and MIT. He says the Artemis program aims to send astronauts back to the moon and to Mars.

Kate Payne / IPR

Former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Bill Weld returned to Iowa this week for the first time since the Iowa State Fair and said he offers an alternative to President Donald Trump on a variety of issues from economic conservatism to climate change.

Natalie Krebs / IPR

Department of Human Services Director Kelly Garcia said despite recent payment issues, she is confident that Iowa Total Care is committed to the state's Medicaid program.

Grant Gerlock / IPR file

The State Auditor’s office says it cannot determine whether home health care claims are being paid properly under Iowa’s privatized Medicaid system because data provided by the Department of Human Services is inaccurate and inconsistent.

iowa capitol
John Pemble/IPR file

State lawmakers are heading back to the Iowa Capitol for the 2020 legislative session Monday, Jan. 13. This session will mark the fourth consecutive year with Republicans in control of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the governor’s office.

Here are some of the topics statehouse leaders expect to discuss this year.

There are plenty of critics of the Iowa caucuses. This year, there's pressure from insiders and outsiders to change the process. On the seventeenth episode of Caucus Land, we'll talk about why some of those changes haven't happened with Lauren Chooljian, a host of the New Hampshire Public Radio podcast Stranglehold. Plus, conversations with two candidates: former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.


Paul 710928003 / flickr

Plans to build a $49 million new jail in western Iowa’s Woodbury County could go to a referendum vote as soon as March 3. County officials said Tuesday that ongoing problems with the current jail are becoming more frequent.

Dey / Flickr account

As of the New Year, Iowans can go just over the Mississippi River into neighboring Illinois to buy recreational marijuana. Now that sales are legal in the Prairie State, some officials in Iowa are warning residents to be mindful of state law.

kim reynolds
John Pemble / IPR

Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday all pending voting rights restoration applications from people with felony records will be reviewed before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3.

Iowa is the only state that still bans all people with felony convictions from voting, forever, unless they appeal directly to the governor.

Amy Mayer / IPR file

A much-anticipated update to the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement is one step closer to implementation.

On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, voted 25-3 to approve the United States Mexico Canada Agreement. Two Republicans and one Democrat cast the "no" votes.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Entrepreneur and Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is best known for his pitch for universal basic income, or the freedom dividend, where he’d give every American $1,000 a month. Yang talks about his signature policy and reacts to U.S. killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani. 

Katie Peikes / IPR

A Democrat who's been running for president longer than anyone else in this cycle is pulling out all the stops to gain traction ahead of the Iowa caucuses next month. Former Maryland Congressman John Delaney has set out to visit at least 40 towns in Iowa ahead of the caucuses. 

Kate Payne/IPR

Democratic presidential candidates are criticizing the Trump administration’s decision-making process in killing a top Iranian military commander. With less than a month until the first in the nation Iowa caucuses, some potential caucusgoers say the tensions in the Middle East could impact how they make their decisions.

IPR/Matthew Alvarez

Nearly a dozen people sat in a small room painted black and lit only by two theatre lamps, drawing attention to a DJ booth with its chrome and silver equipment glimmering.

DJ Patrick Blin stepped up to the booth, and the silence was broken by the sounds of record scratches as those watching pulled out their phones to begin filming. Smiles broke out across their faces.

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