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

Julia Taylor

Tomorrow is the 2014 Midterm Election. While both major parties have championed early voting, many Iowans will score an “I Voted” sticker at their polling station.  

Eric Bégin

Furbearer season starts Saturday in Iowa. Hunters and trappers will likely see greater numbers of raccoons and coyotes from previous years, but fewer red foxes. 

SD Dirk

Iowa's 1st Congressional District covers northeast Iowa, and includes the cities of Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Waterloo.

Alan Light

Iowa City, Davenport, Burlington and Ottumwa are the major population centers in Iowa's 2nd Congressional District.   

Jason Mrachina

Iowa's 3rd Congressional District contains 16 counties in the southwest quadrant of the state. Its largest population centers are Des Moines and Council Bluffs.

Polling shows Democrat Staci Appel and Republican David Young, neck-and-neck for the open race. Republican Tom Latham is stepping down after 10 terms in Congress. 

Kevin Palmer

The 4th District covers the most area, but contains the fewest people of Iowa's four congressional districts.  Situated in the northwest quadrant of the state, Sioux City, Ames and Mason City are the 4th's major population centers.  

Republican Congressman Steve King is seeking his sixth term in the U.S. House. Polling shows Democrat Jim Mowrer trailing King by double digits in the solidly Republican district. 

John Pemble / IPR

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

Clay Masters / IPR

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

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. 

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. 

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.

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."

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.

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

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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