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.

Ways To Connect

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."

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.

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.

New CAFO Rules

Aug 19, 2014
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.

History's Seeds

Aug 18, 2014
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.

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.

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.

chandrika221 / flickr

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

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.

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.

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. 

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.

slappytheseal

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.

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.*

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. 

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

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..."

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.

http://iowansforshaw.com/

Read this candidate profile of 3rd District Candidate Monte Shaw. He was interviewed as part of IPR's 2014 Primary Voter Guide series.

John Pemble

While he didn't win the Sioux City senate seat, at least 2010 candidate Rick Mullin and the Iowa Democratic Party won’t have to pay $231,000 to State Senator Rick Bertrand.

Today the Iowa Supreme Court today found that an ad run by Mullin’s campaign did not meet the definition of defamation. 

Senator Bertrand sued Mullin and his party saying the campaign ad purposely misled voters into thinking Bertrand was the owner of the pharmaceutical company Takeda, when in reality he was an employee.

Sandy McCurdy / Sandy McCurdy Photos

Last spring, flooding destroyed 19 percent of trumpeter swan nests in Iowa.  Then in the fall many of the juveniles, or cygnets, died from drought.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources wildlife research technician Dave Hoffman says modification of Iowa’s watershed causes this severe weather.

“Wetlands…act as sponges to clean and hold the water in the spring, but also…hold the water in the fall (to) provide the moisture we need.”

Clay Masters / IPR

Randy Brubaker was a longtime journalist in Iowa. In 1983 he joined the Iowa City Press Citizen and came  to the Des Moines Register in 1988. He held many roles at the Register, most recently he was Senior News Director and oversaw the newspaper's investigative team. He died May 3 of apparent heart failure at 55, just four months after his wife died of a heart attack. In addition to two sons and legions of reporters who he mentored, his legacy includes the Iowa Visual History Center. It's an archive of newspapers and photo negatives that span from the 1940s to 1990s.

Vinoth Chandar

Death can be scary, difficult and painful, but it can also be a healing and beautiful process. How does one have a "good death?"

Martin Terber

This week, Iowa State University discovered a security breach affecting computer servers that contained Social Security numbers of thousands of students.  Host Ben Kieffer speaks with Provost Jonathan Wickert about how ISU is protecting their data against hackers.

litlnemo

25 years ago an Iowa farmer and baseball fan started hearing voices in his corn field.  The film "Field of Dreams," touched millions in a profound way and left behind a baseball diamond in Dyersville that has taken on a life of its own.

Heroes of the Heartland are recognized for acts of heroism  or community service by the American Red Cross of Greater Iowa.  This year’s recipients include fourth-grader Josh Little who saved a classmate from choking, and Baxter Police Officer Joe Bartello, who rescued a semi-truck driver by swimming through the vehicle’s broken windshield after it crashed and submerged in flood water.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with these impressive individuals.

Courtesy of the Eisenhower Presidential Library- Museum & Boyhood Home

During the American Revolution future first lady Abigail Adams melted down the family pewter to make bullets.  The bullet mold she used will be on display at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum from April 19-Oct. 26, 2014, as part of the museum's new exhibit, America’s First Ladies.

Host Charity Nebbe, gets a preview of the exhibit with curator Melanie Weir and historian Elizabeth Dinschel.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Host Ben Kieffer sits down with Iowa Public Radio statehouse correspondent Joyce Russell about developments surrounding the confidential settlements within Governor Branstad's administration and the end of the legislative session.

Also, planting season is right around the corner. Iowa State University agronomist and ISU Extension climatologist Elwynn Taylor discusses soil conditions throughout Iowa.

Bob Elbert / Iowa Public Radio

On Wednesday, the rest of the 2014 VEISHEA celebration was suspended due to a riot on Tuesday that left one student with severe head injuries and extensive property damage.  Rioters in the Campustown area of Ames turned over cars, tore down light poles, and pelted police with rocks and beer cans.

Steve Harris

Thanks to new legislation, a definition of dyslexia will now be included in the Iowa Code.  The neurological condition, which often runs in families, causes individuals difficultly with learning to read, write and spell.

The law is the result of strong advocacy from a number of groups, including the parent-lead, grassroots organization Decoding Dyslexia. DD aims to bring attention to educational intervention for dyslexic students.

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