Sarah Boden

Reporter

Sarah Boden is a general assignment reporter for Iowa Public Radio based in Des Moines. Before coming to Iowa, she was a freelance reporter and radio producer in the Twin Cities. In addition to IPR, Sarah's work has appeared on NPR, WBUR's "Here and Now" and Harvest Public Media.

Sarah's favorite public radio program is All Things Considered.

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Flickr / J. N. Stuart

A team of wildlife biologists from the United States Department of Agriculture will be trapping small mammals and birds in Iowa and testing them for avian influenza over the next couple of weeks. USDA epidemiologists will also be interviewing workers at poultry operations about bio security practices. 

Iowa is the nation's leading poultry producer and so far more a third of the state's hens have been affected by the H5N2 virus. Nationwide the number of affected birds totals to 33 million. Avian influenza presents no food safety concerns.

Flickr / Sanofi Pasteur

Climate change is real and humans are contributing to the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere; that’s according to the fifth annual Iowa Climate Statement released Monday.

The statement contains signatures of 188 faculty and researchers from 39 Iowa colleges and universities. It warns that Iowans are experiencing negative health effects due to greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.

Flickr / Joshua Smith

Just because an infant is extremely premature, it doesn't mean he or she can't survive. That's according to new New England Journal of Medicine study from University of Iowa researchers, which suggests some babies as young as 22 weeks premature are viable.

Researchers complied data from thousands premature births at 24 academic hospitals nationwide. The mortality rate for babies under 1000 grams birth weight, bit over 2 lbs, was as high as 50 percent in hospitals, and as low as 10 percent in others.

Clay Masters / IPR

Recently declared GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson spoke Tuesday at a lunch gathering of Iowa Republicans at the Embassy Club in downtown Des Moines.  This is the retired pediatric neurosurgeon's first visit to Iowa since announcing Monday he plans to seek the Republican nomination for president.

Carson is the only GOP African American presidential candidate. He grew up in poverty and was raised by a single mother in Detroit.

Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

H5N2 has 

Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

Iowa is in a state of emergency due to a highly contagious strain of avian flu called H5N2. Gov. Terry Branstad enacted the proclamation Friday after more than 20 confirmed or presumed outbreaks at commercial poultry facilities around the state.

This very contagious H5N2 has a high mortality rate among poultry, and therefore infection of commercial flocks is economically devastating to producers. So far roughly a quarter of Iowa's nearly 60 million laying hens have been affected by the virus.

Flickr / FAOALC

UPDATE: The United States Department of Agriculture has confirmed H5N2 in a Sioux County flock of 1.7 million hens. The USDA has not yet confirmed the presence of avian flu in the other four suspected flocks.

More than 6 million hens and juvenile chickens in northwest Iowa will be euthanized pending final confirmation of H5N2. The Iowa Department of Agriculture reports a total of five flocks may be affected by this highly pathogenic strain of avian flu. 

Ted Murphy

An Illinois grandmother will not be taking home almost $42 million from a Waterloo casino. Isle of Capri Casinos says Pauline McKee’s big win was due to an equipment malfunction.

The Iowa Supreme Court sided with the company.

On July 2, 2011 Pauline McKee of Antioch, Illinois was visiting northeast Iowa for a family reunion. Some of the family was staying at the Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo and at about 9:00 pm the  87-year-old woman and her daughters went to the gaming floor.

A jury in northern Iowa has found a former state representative "not guilty" of sexually assaulting his late wife. Prosecutors alleged that Henry Rayhons of Garner had sex with his wife Donna, who wasn’t capable of consent due to her advanced Alzheimer’s disease. 

The jury took nearly two days to deliberate. This verdict ends a trial that has attracted international attention and raised complicated questions about the nature of consent for cognitively impaired adults.

Flickr / MTSOfan

Roughly 3.8 million hens at a laying facility in northwest Iowa are being destroyed due to the presence of a highly pathogenic virus. H5N2, a strain of avian flu, was found Monday on at a commercial egg-laying facility in Osceola County doubling the number of affected birds nationwide. 

Originally the United States Department of Agriculture reported the Osceola flock's population to be 5.3 million birds. Rather that is the facility's capacity.

This is Iowa's second case of H5N2. Last week the virus struck a commercial turkey farm in Buena Vista County. 

H5N2 Hits Iowa Again

Apr 20, 2015
FREEFOODPHOTOS.COM

As many as 5.3 million hens will be euthanized at a commercial laying facility in northwest Iowa as a result of the presence of H5N2. The United States Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence this highly pathogenic strain avian flu Monday.

This year there have already been more than 40 confirmed cases of the virus in commercial flocks across several Midwestern states. H5N2 supposedly is spread by migratory waterfowl, which are generally not harmed by the disease.

Flickr / Pennsylvania National Guard

Closing arguments are scheduled today in the sexual assault trial of a former state representative. Henry Rayhons of Garner, Iowa may go to prison for having sex with his wife.

In March 2014 Donna Rayhons and her daughter Linda Dunshee had lunch. Dunshee, who had power of attorney, says her mother acted confused during the meal and had troubled using the restroom. 

Aaron Putze

Yesterday a strain of avian flu called H5N2 was confirmed on a commercial turkey farm in Buena Vista County. As those 27,000 birds are euthanized, the other roughly 130 turkey farmers around the state are taking bio security measures to ensure their farms avoid the same fate.

H5N2 presents a minimal risk to humans. It creates no food safety concerns but is financially devastating to farmers because once the virus is detected in even one bird the entire flock is eradicated.

FREEFOODPHOTOS.COM

A father and son, who are former owners of Maine-based Quality Egg, were given a three-month jail sentence today in federal court for a 2010 salmonella outbreak originating from Iowa-produced eggs. 81-year-old Austin “Jack” DeCoster, and his 51-year-old son Peter pleaded guilty last year to shipping contaminated eggs across state lines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that outbreak likely caused more than 1,900 people to become ill.

Sarah Boden/Iowa Public Radio

Three potential Republican contenders for the White House spoke at the "Road to 2016: Informing the Energy Debate" today at the World Food Prize building in Des Moines. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania all say that regulation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hinders U.S. economic growth.

Potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke at Simpson College in Indianola this morning. The talk was billed as a conversation about education, though Trump spent much of the 40 minutes talking about his career in New York real estate.

Flickr / Eli Feldblum

Florida-based Global Travel International Inc. has reached an agreement with the Iowa Attorney General’s office to pay nearly $45,000 in refunds to Iowans. The buying club advertises savings on retail or travel-related purchases.

Attorney General Tom Miller alleges that starting in 2008, Global Travel enrolled Iowans without giving specific notices or disclosures. As a result people were charged monthly membership fees without the proper consent.

Flickr / United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The world’s first openly gay head of government is in Iowa. Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir served as Iceland’s Prime Minister from 2009 to 2013.

Sigurðardóttir is one of the keynote speakers for the 10th annual Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth, which takes place Friday at the Prairie Meadows Event Center in Altoona. 

FLICKR / TOBIAS LEEGER

The state legislature yesterday sent a bill to Gov. Terry Branstad setting August 23 as the earliest date students can go back to class. The bill attempts to balance the interests of Iowa K-12 education and the state's tourism industry. Not everyone is pleased.

Lisa Riggs is president of the Travel Federation of Iowa and general manager of the Danish Windmill in Elk Horn. The windmill was shipped from Denmark to the west-central Iowa town in 1975.

Flickr / Tobias Leeger

The Iowa House passed a bill on the contentious issue of school start dates for Iowa K-12 students today. The legislation allows middle and elementary schools that follow year-round calendars to set an early school start date; however, all other schools could start only as early as August 23.

State Rep. Mary Mascher, a Democrat from Iowa City, voted against the bill. She says the one-size-fits-all start date for high schools is a bad approach.

JOE LENCIONI

From characters like Cinderella to pop singers like Miley Cyrus, girls grow up in an environment rich in images of femininity. 

During the second episode of this two part series, host Charity Nebbe gets insight into the challenges and dangers girls face as they grow. To end the hour, we hear how the media influences their development.

Find part one of this series, "Raising Boys" click here. 

Wikimedia Commons

The 2015 Cancer in Iowa report released today shows a drastic jump in the number of cases of skin cancer in the state.

Sarah Boden/Iowa Public Radio

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the Iowa Board of Medicine faced off at the Iowa Supreme Court Wednesday over providing abortion services with telemedicine. In Iowa only doctors can prescribe the medication that induces miscarriage. Since it's expensive to staff doctors at all its clinics, Planned Parenthood physicians teleconference with patients seeking abortion services.

Amy Mayer/IPR

The state's largest water utility has voted to proceed with its lawsuit against three northwest Iowa county boards of supervisors. Des Moines Water Works first announced its intent to sue back in January.

The water utility says high nitrate levels in the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers, which supply the city's drinking water, are a result of nitrogen fertilizer runoff from farms in Sac, Buena Vista and Calhoun counties.

Flickr / bfi Business Furniture Inc.

The Iowa Supreme Court says anyone claiming damages for wage discrimination that occurred before 2009 is out of luck.

Three female employees of Muscatine-based Allsteel are suing the office furniture manufacturer, alleging male employees were paid more for similar work.  While the lawsuit is pending, the high court's ruling greatly limits the amount of damages the plaintiffs may eventually claim.

Flickr / Francisco Osorio

Can serious illness increase your odds of divorce? If you're a women over the age of 50 that seems to be the case.

A new Iowa State University study looking at the divorce rate for older heterosexual adults has found that if a wife experiences a serious illness like cancer or stroke, the probability of her marriage dissolving increases by 6 percent. A husband becoming ill, however, has no statistical impact on a couple’s chances of divorce.

Flickr / Doug Kerr

A bill raising Iowa’s interstate speed limit from 70 to 75 miles per hour didn’t get voted on in the Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday. Since the deadline for bills to reach the senate or house floor for a vote approaches, it is highly unlikely the legislation will advance.

Sen. Wally Horn, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, supports the bill. He says bumping the speed limit up could cut down on traffic.

Flickr / Lord Jim

A bill that aims to curtail distracted driving passed out of the Iowa Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday.

The legislation would make the use of a smartphone or similar device a "primary offense," which would allow police officers to pull someone over  just for emailing or texting while driving. The police currently can not do that.

The Transportation Committee’s ranking member, Republican Sen. Tim Kapucian of Keystone, says the greater number of drivers using smartphones and similar devices makes roads increasingly dangerous.

Don Graham

Iowa has the highest average for indoor radon concentration in the nation, according to the University of Iowa. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports the radioactive gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon is colorless, odorless and tasteless, so people may breath the gas for years before it's detected.

Women’s Choice Center

A 2012 study found 87 percent of women who seek an abortion were highly confident about the decision before receiving any pre-abortion counseling. But what if a woman changes her mind?

Abortion reversal is a method touted by San Deigo-based Dr. George Delgado. He started building a network of doctors and nurses to preform reversals three years ago.  Today this network is active in 34 states including Iowa.

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