Sarah Boden


Sarah Boden is a general assignment reporter for Iowa Public Radio, based in Des Moines.  She joined IPR's ranks as a producer on Nov. 5, 2012--the day before the 2012 presidential election.

Sarah's favorite public radio program is On The Media.


2014 Elections
4:44 am
Wed October 29, 2014

4th District Voter Map

Loess Hills in Harrison County.
Credit Kevin Palmer

The 4th District covers the most area, but contains the fewest people of Iowa's four congressional districts. 

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2014 Elections
6:40 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Ernst, One Week To Go

State Senator Joni Ernst, the Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate, stumps at the Des Moines Register Soap Box at the 2014 Iowa State Fair.
John Pemble IPR

State Senator Joni Ernst, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, talks with Morning Edition one week before the 2014 Elections. 

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2014 Elections
6:40 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Braley, One Week To Go

Congressman Bruce Braley, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, stumps at the Des Moines Register soapbox at the 2014 Iowa State Fair.
Clay Masters IPR

Congressman Bruce Braley, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, talks with Morning Edition one week before the 2014 Elections. 

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
2:06 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Video Testimony Not Constitutional

Iowa Judicial Branch Building in Des Moines.
Credit John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled today remote, two-way video testimony is an inadequate substitute for live, in-person testimony. 

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3:41 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Surprise Support for Tuition Freeze

Campanile on the Iowa State University campus in Ames on an overcast fall day.
Mike Hiatt

Several members on Iowa’s Board of Regents spoke in favor of freezing tuition for the third year in a row during today’s meeting in Iowa City. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
9:56 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Vilsack Fustrated With Beef Industry

Cattle in Rowntree, MI.

For several years, the beef industry has struggled over how and whether to collect additional funds for industry promotion and research. The money is part of a program called the Beef checkoff.   

Last month U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack proposed a second, supplementary checkoff, implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
9:39 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Food Security Since Ebola

A woman drys cocoa beans in Liberia, 10/25/2010.
Laura Elizabeth Pohl

West African leaders attending the World Food Prize symposium in Des Moines discussed steps to prevent a food crisis in Ebola-affected countries, Wednesday.

President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development Kanayo Nwanze said 40 percent of farms in affected areas have been abandoned, thus dramatically harming food production.

"I think the regional trade is going to be very, very serious," Nwanze said.  "Like any other situation...where you have a crisis you should begin to plan for the aftermath."

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
2:14 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Humanitarian Recognized at Iowa Hunger Summit

Governor Terry Branstad presents Merry Fredrick with the Robert D. Ray Iowa SHARES Humanitarian Award at the Iowa Hunger Summit on 10/14/2014.
Sarah Boden Iowa Public Radio

Merry Fredrick was awarded the second annual Robert D. Ray Iowa SHARES Humanitarian Award, Tuesday in Des Moines at the Iowa Hunger Summit.

Fredrick is the former executive director of Self-Help International.  The Waverly-based organization helps farmers in Ghana and Nicaragua grow high protein maize.

"I'm very humbled by the award," said Fredrick, who hopes the award will heighten Self-Help International's profile so that it may grow and eventually end hunger. 

Self-Help International also provides micro-credit loans to women for starting small-scale businesses.

Election Coverage
8:04 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Braley, Ernst Debate Dark Money

Ernst and Braley campaign Facebook pages.

The topic of out-of-state money flooding Iowa's airwaves featured heavily in Saturday's U.S. Senate debate.

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Election Coverage
7:16 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

First Lady Campaign Rally Gaffe

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks at 'Get Out the Vote' campaign rally at Drake Univeristy. (10/10/2014)
Sarah Boden Iowa Public Radio

First Lady Michelle Obama misspoke several times Friday afternoon, while campaigning for the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate at a Drake University ‘Get Out the Vote’ rally in Des Moines.

She referred to Congressman Bruce Braley, as "Bruce Bailey" in front of a crowd of about 1,200 people.

“If you want a leader who shares your values and will stand up for your families in Washington,” said Obama, “then you need to elect Bruce Bailey to the U.S. Senate.”

The crowd eventually corrected the first lady while she was giving out the candidate’s website. 

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Election Coverage
9:29 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Tight Race for Open Seat in Iowa's 3rd District

Skyline of Des Moines, Polk County's largest city and the capitol of Iowa. Polk County is the 3rd Congressional District's most populous county. It is also the only county in the district where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans.
Credit Jason Mrachina

Republican Rep. Tom Latham, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. House, surprised everyone last December when he announced his retirement, leaving Iowa's 3rd Congressional District an open seat.

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Election Coverage
7:47 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Appel and Young Debate: Round Two

Creative Commons

Republican David Young and Democrat Staci Appel debated for the second time last night at Simpson College in Indianola. The two are running for retiring Congressman Tom Latham’s seat in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District.

Appel was asked whether she supports taking passports from terrorists. In the candidates’ first debate Appel said she would not support legislation to seize passports from terrorists since the State Department already has that ability.

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2014 Elections
5:53 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Early Voting Begins in Iowa

Secretary of State Matt Schultz
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

Early voting for the 2014 midterm elections begins Thursday in Iowa.

A record number of absentee ballots for a midterm election have gone out to Iowa voters according to Secretary of State Matt Schultz. 2014 requests for absentee ballots are about double, compared with 2010.

"We've got about 60,000 Democrats who have asked for absentee ballots," Schultz said. "We've got more than 30,000 Republicans and about 25,000 no-party voters. So you do the math and we're getting close to 100,000."

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Election Coverage
10:46 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Appel and Young Debate: Round One

Iowa 3rd District Congressional candidates Democrat Staci Appel and Republican David Young discussed raising the federal minimum wage, last night (Thursday) in Council Bluffs. The two debated for the first time on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press.

Since both Appel and Young aren’t terribly well known, it was important for each candidate to define themselves during the broadcast, and not let the other control the narrative.

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
5:24 am
Thu September 11, 2014

The Constitutional Right to Confront

Iowa Judicial Branch Building in Des Moines, May 17, 2013.
John Pemble

Tonight, the Iowa Supreme Court will consider the question, “Do witnesses in criminal trials need to testify in person? Or is remote, two-way video testimony just as affective?

The state of Iowa claims two-way remote video testimony is just as effective as in-person testimony. Additionally, video testimony is less expensive and less time consuming, and therefore there is large incentive to use remote video testimony more extensively.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
4:37 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

New CAFO Rules

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement rally after the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission's Aug. 19 meeting.
Sarah Boden Iowa Public Radio

Totally roofed confined animal feeding operations are now required to have a permit and meet certain federal regulations for discharging manure into U.S. waterways. Iowa’s Environmental Protection Commission voted unanimously on the new CAFO rules today, at a highly emotional hearing.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:46 am
Mon August 18, 2014

History's Seeds

Seed Savers Exchange Heritage Farm in Decorah.
Chiot's Run

Most vegetable seeds today are bred by seed companies to be hearty and easy to grow. They’re created by cross-breeding different varieties and selecting for specific characteristics.

Heirloom seeds are different. Like your grandmother’s engagement ring or a dusty old photo album, these seeds have been passed down through generations.

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11:26 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Women on the Farm: An Evolving Role

Women have worked in agriculture since agriculture began, but for many years they were limited to supporting roles. Talk of Iowa seeks out women's voices in agriculture, through history and today.  Jenny Barker-Devine, author of "On Behalf of the Family Farm: Iowa Farm Women's Activism since 1945" discusses how the roles of farm women changed during the 20th century.

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
4:21 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

No Proselytizing at State Fair Gates

Grand concourse at the 2012 Iowa State Fair.
John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

Jason Powell will not be proselytizing near entrances to the Iowa State Fair this year. The U.S. District Court in Des Moines ruled in an injunction Tuesday, that fair officials can bar Powell from areas of heavy foot and vehicle traffic for public safety purposes.

The injunction's ruling does allow Powell to demonstrate on fair grounds in less populated areas, but his attorney Nate Kellum of the Memphis-based Center for Religious Expression says this is an empty victory.

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River to River: From the Archives
1:30 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

The Teenage Brain

chandrika221 / flickr

The drama of mood swings, impulsiveness and bizarre behaviors during adolescence
can take a toll on both teens and their parents.

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Statehouse and Politics
2:22 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Branstad Defends Stance on Immigrant Children

The U.S. government estimates up to 90,000 children will enter the U.S. this year.
Ryan Henderson

Governor Terry Branstad is defending his reluctance to grant asylum to unaccompanied children fleeing extreme violence in Central America.

"It would be wrong for us to send a signal that if you come here illegally, we're just gonna disperse you throughout the country and you don't have to go home."

Social justice advocate Connie Ryan Terrell of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa says many in Iowa’s faith community are disappointed with Branstad's decision, since the state has a history of welcoming immigrants.

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6:35 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Predators Come Back to Iowa

Black bear cubs spotted in Alberta, Canada. A female black bear, or sow, has her first litter between 3-5 years. Her cubs stay with her until they are 16-18 months.
Credit Mark Stevens

A mother black bear and her two cubs were spotted earlier this week, on the border of Fayette and Clayton Counties, in northeast Iowa.  The next day, a beekeeper discovered bear scat and paw prints near some damaged hives.

Also this week, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources confirmed the state's first mountain lion of 2014. A deer carcass with signs of mountain lion predation was found in Cherokee County, in northeast Iowa.

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2:27 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Chiropractic School Must Accommodate Blind Students

Lumbar spine with right (R) x-ray marker.
Michael Dorausch

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled Davenport’s Palmer College of Chiropractic discriminated against a blind student when the school did not provide accommodations for his disability.

A few years before Aaron Cannon entered Palmer’s graduate program, the school started requiring students to read and interpret X-rays, to meet industry standards.

Cannon told the school he could complete the course work with the assistance of a sighted aid. Palmer said this wouldn’t suffice since the aid would be interpreting X-rays by describing photos to Cannon. 

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Business and Economy
5:37 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Why Data Centers Are Choosing Iowa

Jimmy Emerson

Data centers store digital information off site from a company’s headquarters.  In the past couple years tech giants Google, Facebook and Microsoft have all announced plans for new facilities in Iowa.  

John Rath blogs for Data Center Knowledge and works as a facilities manager for OneNeck IT Solutions in Cedar Falls. He cites one advantage to building in Iowa is a low incidence natural disasters.

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5:21 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Pollutants in Iowa's Watershed

The Des Moines River.

A report released today by Environment Iowa Research and Policy Center listed Cargill Meat Solutions’s pork processing plant in Ottumwa as the state’s number one disposer of toxic chemicals into waterways.

In 2012 Cargill disposed more than 2,800,000 lbs of chemicals into the Lower Des Moines River.

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Statehouse and Politics
3:58 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

What Quinnipiac Reveals About Gender

Jan Egil Kristiansen

Today’s Quinnipiac University poll shows if the election for U.S. Senate were held today, 44 percent favor Democrat Bruce Braley and 40 percent favor Republican Joni Ernst.

Additionally, Quinnipiac finds Braley polling stronger with women by 11 percentage points, and Ernst holding a 4 percent lead with men.*

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Election Coverage
8:23 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Ernst Gets GOP Senate Nomination, 3rd District Republican Race Goes to Convention

Joni Ernst makes her acceptance speech for the GOP US Senate nomination on June 3, 2014 at the Des Moines Social Club.
Credit Joyce Russell / IPR

Democratic and Republican Primary voters went to the polls Tuesday to select candidates for the 2014 general election, but for Third-District Republicans it's not over yet. The biggest race last night was for the U.S. Senate Republican primary nomination. State Senator Joni Ernst easily won that race. IPR's Clay Masters talks with University of Northern Iowa Political Science Professor Donna Hoffman about last night's results. 

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Election Coverage
11:01 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

2014 Primary Election Results

Julia Taylor

U.S. Senate - Rep

Sam Clovis

Joni Ernst ✔

Mark Jacobs

Scott Schaben

Matt Whitaker

U.S. House. Dist. 1 - Dem

Swati Dandekar

Anesa Kajtazovic

Pat Murphy ✔

Dave O'Brien 

Monica Vernon

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4:23 am
Thu May 29, 2014

WWI Trench Excavation at Camp Dodge

Camp Dodge, circa 1917
Iowa National Gaurd

Many WWI soldiers prepared for deployment  at Iowa's Camp Dodge, just north of Des Moines.  This week archeologists are excavating long-forgotten training trenches at Camp Dodge to better understand trench warfare.

Archeologist Adam Meseke says these trenches were designed and built like those on the Western Front. "Trench warfare would have been an absolute nightmare for everyone involved. Being several yards away from the enemy, or constant ammunition fire, gas attacks..."

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
3:06 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Medical Billing Class-Action Suit

Zachary Korb

A class-action lawsuit that could involve thousands of Iowans has been filed against HealthPort Technologies.

The Georgia-based company is a medical records and billings statement provider.  The suit alleges HealthPort overcharges costumers for duplications of their medical records and billing statements.

The lead attorney for the plaintiffs is James Bisconglia of the Des Moines law firm LaMarca & Landry. Bisconglia says that Iowa Code limits the amount a consumer can be charged for a records request.

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