Ongoing Coverage:

Clay Masters

Morning Edition Host

Clay Masters joined the Iowa Public Radio newsroom as a correspondent in 2012.  He covers the statehouse when the legislature is in session, and reports on a variety of topics the rest of the year. Clay is an award-winning multi-media journalist whose radio stories have been heard on various NPR and American Public Media programs. His television documentaries have aired on PBS stations across the country. He’s also a regular contributor to NPR’s arts desk, covering indie music news.

Clay is a Nebraska native and worked for Nebraska Public Radio and Television (NET) before coming to IPR. He was one of the founding reporters of Harvest Public Media, the CPB-funded Local Journalism project covering agriculture in the Midwest.

Clay’s favorite NPR program is All Things Considered.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
4:45 am
Fri October 18, 2013

2013 World Food Prize Laureates Stir up GMO Controversy

Protestors gather on the west side of the Iowa State Capitol to protest the laureates.
Clay Masters IPR

  The World Food Prize is commonly referred to as the Nobel Prize of Agriculture. This year it went to three biotechnology pioneers and infuriated environmental groups. The award winners were honored Thursday in Des Moines. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports.

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Health
5:05 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Iowa Millennials Prepare for Affordable Care Act

Kelley Mills, 23, of Des Moines works 3 jobs to make ends meet. She and her parents do not have healthcare.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

 Editor Note: The Millennials in the piece were found because they signed up for the IPR Insight Network. Please consider signing up today and lending your expertise and experience to some of our reporting.

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Health
4:36 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Sorting Out The Affordable Care Act in Iowa

Credit flickr creative commons

 

   October 1 is an important milestone in the rollout of health reform. The new insurance marketplace – where Iowans can select health coverage – goes live on October 1st. Iowa Public Radio’s Sarah McCammon and Clay Masters have an overview of what to expect on the health exchange.

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Environment
6:00 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Farmers, Policymakers Debate Water Quality Regulation

Farmer Tim Smith stands by a creek that cuts through his property near the north central Iowa town of Eagle Grove. He does several water quality conservation practices on his land including a bio-reactor, strip tilling and cover crops.
Clay Masters IPR

This summer, officials in Iowa have been asking farmers to voluntarily reduce the amount of fertilizer they use. That’s because the fertilizer contains nitrates that are being washed into state waterways and creating environmental concerns locally and nationally. The runoff has been particularly bad this year, and the outcry over typical crop practices is growing. To find if Iowa farmers are complying with the government’s request, Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters followed the water trail.

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Business and Economy
6:02 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: Education Economics

Credit Sarah McCammon / IPR

 It's back to school season in Iowa. IPR's Clay Masters talks education economics with Sarah McCammon while she finishes up her assignment for Marketplace this summer covering business and economics news. They discuss the increasing costs for teachers and parents to pay for public school and a report by the US Department of Education found colleges giving bigger grants to wealthier kids. 

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Music News
11:11 am
Thu August 22, 2013

A Unique Digital Music Service, For Locals Only

Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios reviews recently donated CDs. Paulios says donations of old music give the library greater freedom to purchase new stuff, as well as license digital versions directly from smaller artists.
Clay Masters

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 12:30 pm

Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios pulls out his smartphone, enters his library-card number and begins downloading an album by local metal band Blizzard at Sea.

"So it's extracting now," he says, eyes on the screen. "It's at about 90 percent."

The download takes about five minutes to complete. Paulios says it's a great way to check out local music: You could be waiting for a concert to start, download an album by the band you're about to see and then listen to it on the way home.

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Arts and Culture
6:35 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Iowa City Library's Local Music Project Could Become Library Model

Iowa City Librarian Jason Paulios looks at recently organized CDs that were donated to the library. Paulios says he gets a lot of donations when school at the University of Iowa starts and ends as students come and go on campus.
Clay Masters IPR

Despite changes in how Americans are listening to music, think Pandora or Spotify, people are still checking out physical CDs from libraries. A recent PEW report found that half of Americans visited a library last year, and 16 percent of them checked out music.

But just as libraries are introducing eBooks to readers – librarians are also trying to figure out how to get digital music to library goers. Iowa City has launched a digital music library that focuses on its local music scene.

Going Local Online

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Business and Economy
6:57 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: Rockwell Collins Buys Airinc, John Deere Earnings Beat Projections

Rockwell Collins is headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Credit Facebook / Rockwell Collins

Many Iowans work for two companies in recent business headlines. In a nearly 1.4 billion dollar deal, Cedar Rapids-based Rockwell Collins announced it was buying communication system company Airinc. Rockwell Collins CEO, Kelly Ortberg, calls it the biggest deal the company has undertaken.

And the latest quarter of John Deere earnings beat analyst projections. IPR's Clay Masters talks with Sarah McCammon, who's on assignment for Marketplace this summer, about the two news-making companies. They also discuss the state's corn crop and how it compares to the cornbelt as a whole.

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Music
1:03 am
Sat August 17, 2013

William Tyler Speaks 'Truth' Through His Guitar

William Tyler performs in Iowa City.
Clay Masters

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 6:35 am

William Tyler takes the stage at the Trumpet Blossom Café, a vegan restaurant and bar in Iowa City. Surrounded by effects pedals for his guitar, he wears jeans and black cowboy boots, and his fingernails are about an inch long.

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Business and Economy
6:05 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: The Economics of Early School Start Date

Crowds at the Iowa State Fair.
Credit Iowa State Fair

    

The Iowa State Fair wraps up next weekend. IPR's Clay Masters talks with Sarah McCammon, who's on assignment with Marketplace, over the economics and controversy over when schools should start and how that affects state fairs and tourism. Masters also talks with McCammon about the energy stories she's done on Transocean, the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that was involved in the BP oil spill three years ago, and a solar company that’s also ahead of its peers.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
8:28 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Series from Harvest Public Media Highlights Role of Age in Farming

The Hawthorn farm has been in the family for four generations since it was founded in the late 1870s by Bob Hawthorn’s great-grandfather who went by the name “Trapper.”
Credit Ray Meints / Nebraska Educational Telecommunications

Next week IPR is launching a 5-part series during Morning Edition from Harvest Public Media on the role of age in farming. It's called "Changing Hands, Changing Lands." It includes a television documentary on Iowa Public Television that airs on August 16th.

IPR's Clay Masters spoke with IPR's Harvest Public Media reporter, Amy Mayer, about the series and some of the research and reporting that went into the project. 

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Business and Economy
6:45 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: Cost-Benefit Analysis for Better Government

Credit Matt Cardy / Getty Images

  The Pew Charitable Trusts and McArthur Foundation are funding a project that hopes solve public policy in an evidence-based way. IPR's Clay Masters checks in with Sarah McCammon, who's on assignment with Marketplace this summer, about her reporting on the issue. They also discuss an upcoming story she's working on the economics of recycling. 

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Business and Economy
6:43 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: Controlling the Cost of College

Candidates applying for a place at the Medical University of Vienna sit for an exam in a hall of the fair grounds in Vienna on July 5, 2013.
Credit Patrick Domingo / Getty Images

This week IPR's Clay Masters checks in with Sarah McCammon, who's on assignment with Marketplace, about issues regarding paying for college.

IPR would like to know what business issues are important to you, join our IPR Insight Network and lend your expertise and experience to our reporting.  

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Arts and Culture
6:54 am
Wed July 24, 2013

NPR Reporters Travel RAGBRAI

Don Gonyea, Scott Horsley and Brian Naylor spoke to IPR at their RAGBRAI campsite in Des Moines, July 23, 2013
Credit John Pemble / IPR

 RAGBRAI, the annual bicycling ride across the state, made its way to Des Moines Tuesday. The trip wraps up this weekend in Fort Madison. Among the cyclists this year are NPR reporters Don Gonyea, Scott Horsley and Brian Naylor.

IPR's Clay Masters caught up with the trio. You can follow their travels the rest of this week at Return to Iowa.

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River to River
2:54 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Staffing Iowa's Prisons

Warden Patti Wachtendorf shows IPR's Charity Nebbe around the Mitchellville Correctional Institute for Women.
Emily Woodbury Iowa Public Radio

Nationally the turnover rate for correctional officers is over 15%. Working in a prison is a stressful and dangerous job, but it can also be rewarding.  Today, Clay Masters speaks with a correctional officer from the Mitchellville Correctional Institute for Women joins the program to discuss what its like to work at a prison.

Also, the union AFSCME claims that the Department of Corrections has insufficient staff numbers running the state’s prison and as a result correctional officers are at risk.  Clay Masters looks into the validity of these claims

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Business and Economy
6:41 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: Unemployment Rate Holds Steady, Energy Markets Heat Up

Farmers Rick Hammond and Abbi Harrington. Rick is married to Abbi's sister, Heidi. The family is fighting the Keystone XL.
Credit Sarah McCammon / IPR

  This week Clay and Sarah discuss the state's unemployment rate which is largely unchanged for June. They also discuss an issue Sarah is reporting on regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline and its impact on the country if its built or not. 

IPR would like to know what business issues are important to you, join our IPR Insight Network and lend your expertise and experience to our reporting.  

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Business and Economy
5:43 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: Shakeups in Agribusiness

Credit Sarah McCammon / IPR

This week Clay and Sarah discuss big news in agribusiness and how the industry is reacting. The U.S. House passed a farm bill that strips the nutrition portion out of the legislation, breaking up the rural/urban coalition of lawmakers. Also, a deadly pig virus is causing pork producers to be even more cautious with how they operate their business. And a deadly train accident in Quebec has people in the United States looking at how the country transports oil. 

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
6:57 am
Mon July 8, 2013

IPR Talk Shows Examine Iowa Correctional System

IPR's Clay Masters speaks with Talk of Iowa Host Charity Nebbe about her show and River to River's summer series examining the state's correctional system. 

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Business and Economy
6:27 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: Positive Economic Indicators in Iowa

Credit Sarah McCammon / IPR

 IPR's Clay Masters talks with Sarah McCammon who's on assignment covering business news for Marketplace. 

IPR would like to know what business issues are important to you, join our IPR Insight Network and lend your expertise and experience to our reporting.  

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Arts and Culture
5:46 am
Mon July 8, 2013

80/35 Music Festival Paid Attendance Dips Slightly

Wu Tang Clan played on Saturday Night at the 80/35 Music Festival in downtown Des Moines
Credit Phil Thomson

Over the weekend, at least 30,000 people were estimated to be at the sixth annual 80/35 music festival in downtown Des Moines. That’s according to festival organizers. 

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Health
9:22 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Iowa's Healthcare Compromise

The state's healthcare compromise.
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River to River
2:11 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Gronstal and Paulsen Praise Statehouse Compromises

Iowa State Capitol
John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Lawmakers from both political parties are calling the 2013 legislative session successful. They were able to find compromise on three big issues: education reform, commercial property tax relief, and expanding health insurance coverage. Host Clay Masters talks about the deals with Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal. Then, Statehouse reporters discuss how unusual political compromise is in the current climate.

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Statehouse and Politics
4:08 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Branstad: 2013 Legislative Session 'Best He Can Remember'

The 2013 Iowa legislative session ends after the House of Representatives adjourns one day after the Senate.
Credit John Pemble / IPR

 Iowa’s 2013 legislative session ended Thursday morning. Democratic and Republican leaders called the session historic as bipartisan compromises on insuring low-income Iowans, reforming the state’s education system and property taxes were passed. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports. 

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River to River
3:09 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Inside The Gold Dome

John Pemble / IPR

Lawmakers at the Statehouse have received their final payments, pages and interns have left for summer, but the legislative session continues into May. It’s legislative day today on River to River.

Host Clay Masters discusses two bills still up for discussion: a state online sales tax bill and a bill requiring DNA testing for certain convictions. Masters also takes a look at the day-to-day in the capitol, by talking with statehouse employees that work alongside Iowa’s representatives.

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Business and Economy
5:35 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

MidAmerican Energy Announces $1.9 billion Wind Deal in Iowa

Credit flickr

Iowa’s biggest economic development deal was announced Wednesday. As Governor Terry Branstad puts it… it’s all about wind energy. Mid-American Energy will in invest 1-point-9 billion dollars in Iowa to add up to 1,050 megawatts of wind generation. That’s about 656 new wind turbines IN IOWA by 2016. Branstad says Iowa’s wind energy industry is a good selling point for high-tech companies like Facebook which just announced it would build a data center in Altoona, just outside of Des Moines.

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Health
7:18 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Veterans Home Leadership Questioned

Credit John Pemble / IPR

At least one state senator is calling for the person in charge of the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown to step down so a more thorough investigation can be conducted. This follows repeated complaints over management of the Veterans home. The Senate Veterans Affairs committee held a meeting Monday  to hear testimony. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports.

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River to River
2:17 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Livestock Inspections and Teen Driving

Iowa Statehouse 5-6-13
Credit John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Under an agreement with the EPA, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will have to inspect 1,600 livestock facilities each year, for the next five years.  Debate at the Iowa Statehouse is centering around how many inspectors are needed to do the job.  Then, Iowa was one of the first states to approve a graduated driver's license system for teens. Since then, the state has dropped to 49th in rankings of teen driving safety.  A new Iowa law puts more restrictions on the youngest and most inexperienced drivers.

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River to River
2:40 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

The Future of Medicaid in Iowa

Governor Branstad's Healthcare policy aide Michael Bousselot, Senator Pam Jochum (D-Dubuque) and IPR Statehouse Correspondent Clay Masters on "River to River" from IPR's Des Moines studios.
John Pemble IPR

All this week, IPR’s Clay Masters has been talking with Iowans who receive Medicaid services to get their input on the debate between Governor Branstad and the Democratic-controlled state Senate over expanding Medicaid.

River to River wraps up the series with host Ben Kieffer sitting down with Clay and several Medicaid recipients, as well as the Governor’s healthcare policy advisor Michael Bousselot and Democratic state senator Pam Jochum.

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Health
5:30 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Iowans on Medicaid Part 4

Rachel Fredericksen and her son Gage sit in their car outside her son Shawn's elementary school in Clinton on April 5, 2013.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

There’s a showdown of sorts between Iowa Republican Governor Terry Branstad and the Democratic-controlled Senate over expanding Medicaid. Under federal law all states have to decide whether or not they’ll extend enrollment in the joint state and federal healthcare program for the poor. The legislature’s 110-day session is set to end  Friday, but the dispute over Medicaid is one of the issues that’s likely to keep lawmakers from going home.

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Health
5:34 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Iowans on Medicaid Part 3

David Van Ahn says having Medicaid services available for his disabled daughter is a blessing.

There’s one issue that will likely help keep state lawmakers from adjourning at the end of the week; that’s healthcare. Thousands of low-income Iowans will be kicked off a healthcare program that expires at the end of the year and there’s disagreement over how to cover them. Republican Governor Terry Branstad is at odds with Democratic-controlled Senate who want to expand Medicaid. The governor doesn’t want to rely on the feds… so he’s introduced his own plan.

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