Durrie Bouscaren http://iowapublicradio.org en Dubuque and Federal Agency Settle Over Race Discrimination Findings http://iowapublicradio.org/post/dubuque-and-federal-agency-settle-over-race-discrimination-findings <p>The City of Dubuque has reached an informal agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, over allegations the city discriminated against African Americans applying for housing assistance. The city has denied the HUD’s claims.</p><p></p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:57:59 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 39165 at http://iowapublicradio.org Dubuque and Federal Agency Settle Over Race Discrimination Findings How a Cedar Rapids Emergency Room Saved Millions, and What it Means for the Whole State http://iowapublicradio.org/post/how-cedar-rapids-emergency-room-saved-millions-and-what-it-means-whole-state <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Emergency Rooms are often the catch-all of the medical world, where patients can receive care at any hour, regardless of their ability to pay.</span></p><p>But physicians and hospital administrators say it’s an expensive and disjointed way for people to receive care, particularly when patients visit the ER multiple times a year.</p><p>A pilot program to manage care for ER ‘super users’ in Cedar Rapids is now in its third year—and administrators say it saves St. Luke’s Hospital about a million dollars annually.</p><p></p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 10:21:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 38890 at http://iowapublicradio.org How a Cedar Rapids Emergency Room Saved Millions, and What it Means for the Whole State Administrative Services Director Carroll Fired Amid Hush Money Revelations http://iowapublicradio.org/post/administrative-services-director-carroll-fired-amid-hush-money-revelations <p>The embattled head of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services was fired today by Governor Branstad, after new evidence surfaced about confidential payments to&nbsp; laid-off state workers.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The former employees reached&nbsp; settlements with the state through mediation. Director Mike Carroll told a legislative committee and the governor that his agency did not approve extra payments to workers who agreed to keep their settlements confidential.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 22:32:36 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren & Joyce Russell 38828 at http://iowapublicradio.org Administrative Services Director Carroll Fired Amid Hush Money Revelations Branstad 'Working With Legislators' Towards Medical Marijuana Bill This Session http://iowapublicradio.org/post/branstad-working-legislators-towards-medical-marijuana-bill-session <p>Governor Terry Branstad said Monday he would consider signing a bill with limited allowances for medical cannabis to be prescribed in Iowa. During an appearance on Iowa Public Radio’s River to River, Branstad said he did not want to create more problems or unintended consequences by signing marijuana legislation.</p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 20:35:10 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren, Clay Masters & Dean Borg 38736 at http://iowapublicradio.org Branstad 'Working With Legislators' Towards Medical Marijuana Bill This Session After Younkers fire, questions remain http://iowapublicradio.org/post/after-younkers-fire-questions-remain <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">With street closures blocking off traffic in the heart of downtown Des Moines, workers from offices near the former Younkers building took to the </span>skywalks<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to view the damage. Lori Jones says her earliest memory of the building was shopping for school supplies</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;in the </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">60's</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 23:36:36 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 38410 at http://iowapublicradio.org After Younkers fire, questions remain The Murky World of Emergency Room Billing http://iowapublicradio.org/post/murky-world-emergency-room-billing <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">No matter how you slice it, medical care is expensive—especially in an emergency.</span></p><p>Martha Norbeck shuffles through paperwork as she looks back over her itemized hospital bill from a bike accident five months ago.</p><p>“Just to have the guy come to the ER to do my stitches was $460, the six stitches was $846… so that was $140 a stitch or something?” Norbeck&nbsp;muses.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 10:21:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 38185 at http://iowapublicradio.org The Murky World of Emergency Room Billing ISU Graduate Stranded in South Sudan Amid War http://iowapublicradio.org/post/isu-graduate-stranded-south-sudan-amid-war <p>A young man who came to Iowa in 1999 as a refugee from South Sudan, has been trapped in his home country since violence broke out in December.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As a teenager, Joseph </span>Yassin<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> immigrated to Des Moines with his family, all war refugees from South Sudan.</span></p><p>Soon after he graduated from Iowa State University in 2011, Yassin returned to the newly independent country to work for an international development agency.</p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 22:06:13 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 37930 at http://iowapublicradio.org ISU Graduate Stranded in South Sudan Amid War In Iowa’s Largest Counties, a Longer Wait for Trial http://iowapublicradio.org/post/iowa-s-largest-counties-longer-wait-trial <p>Processing times for Iowa’s district courts vary throughout the state—often dependent on resources available for staff and court appearances.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In Johnson County, a significant portion of cases take longer. The county</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;has long struggled with a jail too small to house all its inmates and an understaffed courthouse—multi-million dollar bond issues to expand the facilities have been repeatedly rejected by voters.</span></p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 21:11:23 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 37864 at http://iowapublicradio.org In Iowa’s Largest Counties, a Longer Wait for Trial State Senator Calls for Federal Investigation Into Iowa Workforce Development http://iowapublicradio.org/post/state-senator-calls-federal-investigation-iowa-workforce-development <p></p><p>A<span style="line-height: 1.5;">fter speaking with at least half of the administrative law judges who rule cases for unemployment disputes, State Senator Bill </span>Dotzler<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> (D-Waterloo) says he’s gathered evidence that the head of Iowa Workforce Development has pressured judges to rule against employees hoping to receive unemployment insurance benefits. &nbsp;</span></p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 14:52:42 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 37834 at http://iowapublicradio.org State Senator Calls for Federal Investigation Into Iowa Workforce Development UI Students Call For Stricter Sexual Assault Policies, Mason Shares Own Experience http://iowapublicradio.org/post/ui-students-call-stricter-sexual-assault-policies-mason-shares-own-experience <p>Students at the University of Iowa called for the school to take a harsher stance against sexual assault, during an on-campus listening session with university officials Thursday. Female students discussed fears of walking home in the dark, or difficulties filing reports against perpetrators.&nbsp; Others drew comparisons between the university’s formal zero-tolerance policies on drugs and plagiarism, but not for sexual assault.</p><p>President Sally Mason used her opening remarks to discuss her own experience with sexual assault, as an undergraduate student in Kentucky.</p> Fri, 28 Feb 2014 05:28:21 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 36901 at http://iowapublicradio.org UI Students Call For Stricter Sexual Assault Policies, Mason Shares Own Experience Study: Iowa Casinos Reaching 'Maximum Penetration' http://iowapublicradio.org/post/study-iowa-casinos-reaching-maximum-penetration <div><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>A proposed casino in Cedar Rapids would generate $81 million in revenue, but cannibalize $59 million from existing casinos by 2017, according to an Iowa Gaming Market Analysis study made public last night. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 04:00:26 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren & Dean Borg 36791 at http://iowapublicradio.org Study: Iowa Casinos Reaching 'Maximum Penetration' Archaeologists Uncover Iowa City's Beginnings on UI campus http://iowapublicradio.org/post/archaeologists-uncover-iowa-citys-beginnings-ui-campus <p>Construction on the University of Iowa campus has uncovered the foundations of homes dating back to Iowa City’s earliest settlers.</p><p>Archeologists are now racing against the clock to dig out what they can at the Hubbard Park site, as Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports.&nbsp;</p><p></p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 11:36:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 36096 at http://iowapublicradio.org Archaeologists Uncover Iowa City's Beginnings on UI campus Propane Prices Hit Rural Towns Hardest http://iowapublicradio.org/post/propane-prices-hit-rural-towns-hardest <p>Low propane supplies in the Midwest have driven up the cost of the fuel used by many rural families to heat their homes and businesses—to the point where Senator Chuck Grassley has requested an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.</p><p>Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren traveled to an area in Central Iowa that depends on propane, and came back with this story.&nbsp;</p><p></p> Fri, 31 Jan 2014 11:37:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 35595 at http://iowapublicradio.org Propane Prices Hit Rural Towns Hardest Saving the Last House on the Block http://iowapublicradio.org/post/saving-last-house-block <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The 117-year old Brewer House is one of just a handful of historic homes remaining in Cedar Rapids. When it was purchased by a nearby hospital slated for expansion, the Brewer House seemed doomed. But Dawn Stephens and Greg Young had another plan in mind. Iowa Public Radio’s </span>Durrie<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Bouscaren<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> reports.&nbsp;</span></p><p></p> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 14:41:17 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 35425 at http://iowapublicradio.org Saving the Last House on the Block Kombucha startup in Fairfield to expand with $250,000 grant http://iowapublicradio.org/post/kombucha-startup-fairfield-expand-250000-grant <div><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A family-run </span>microbrewery<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> in Fairfield is on the brink of expanding their operation ten times over. As Iowa Public Radio’s </span>Durrie<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Bouscaren<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> reports, <a href="http://shakteakombucha.com/product/">Shaktea Kombucha</a> has built their brand around a fermented, flavored tea</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.&nbsp;</span></p></div><p></p> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 11:48:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 35158 at http://iowapublicradio.org Kombucha startup in Fairfield to expand with $250,000 grant Homeless in the Cold http://iowapublicradio.org/post/homeless-cold <p>As Iowa and much of the Midwest&nbsp; continue to deal with dangerously low temperatures, people have been encouraged to stay home as schools close and organizations cancel activities. For those without a home, shelters have adjusted to care for those who may otherwise face life threatening conditions. Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports. &nbsp;</p><p></p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 15:32:02 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 34521 at http://iowapublicradio.org Top IPR Reporter Picks of 2013 http://iowapublicradio.org/post/top-ipr-reporter-picks-2013 <p>2013 has been a busy year for Iowa Public Radio's news team. Today on River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with reporters and correspondents about some of the most meaningful and challenging stories they covered. It's a "reporter's notebook" edition of the show.</p><p>Here is a list of the full features heard on today's show:</p><blockquote><p>January 10 - <a href="http://iowapublicradio.org/post/undocumented-immigrants-university">Undocumented Immigrants at University</a></p> Mon, 30 Dec 2013 20:24:40 +0000 Ben Kieffer, Emily Woodbury, Joyce Russell, Rob Dillard, Amy Mayer, Durrie Bouscaren, Clay Masters, John Pemble & Dean Borg 34194 at http://iowapublicradio.org Top IPR Reporter Picks of 2013 As holidays approach, Iowa food pantries see increased demand http://iowapublicradio.org/post/holidays-approach-iowa-food-pantries-see-increased-demand <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The holiday season is always a busy time for Iowa food pantries, but federal cuts have led to an increased need this year. As Iowa Public Radio’s </span>Durrie<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Bouscaren<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> reports, they’re expecting even harder times ahead.</span></p><p></p> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 11:24:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 33505 at http://iowapublicradio.org As holidays approach, Iowa food pantries see increased demand Decline in contracting means new roles for service members http://iowapublicradio.org/post/decline-contracting-means-new-roles-service-members <div><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If a second federal sequester happens in January, the US military is anticipating another $52 billion in defense spending cuts. In Iowa, the National Guard is finding ways to save money by reducing the amount of work that is performed by contractors. We get more from Iowa Public Radio’s </span>Durrie<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Bouscaren<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, in the third and final installment of our series on military contracts. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p></div><p></p> Fri, 06 Dec 2013 11:22:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 33106 at http://iowapublicradio.org Decline in contracting means new roles for service members As wars end, Iowa defense contractors seek new markets http://iowapublicradio.org/post/wars-end-iowa-defense-contractors-seek-new-markets <p>Yesterday, as part of our 3-part series on defense contracting in Iowa, we introduced you to a Cedar Rapids manufacturer with just 12 employees. But it’s the industrial giants who tend to pull in the most contracts for the Department of Defense. When times get tough, many are finding profits overseas. In our second installment, Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren heads to Iowa’s largest defense contractor—Rockwell Collins. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 11:21:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 33056 at http://iowapublicradio.org As wars end, Iowa defense contractors seek new markets Impact of military spending cuts uneven among Iowa's defense companies http://iowapublicradio.org/post/impact-military-spending-cuts-uneven-among-iowas-defense-companies <p>As the Department of Defense scales back military spending abroad, domestic arms manufacturers are seeing drastic changes in their revenues. For the first installment of this three part series, Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren profiles one of Iowa’s smallest defense contractors—the creator of a critical component for M-1 tanks.</p> Wed, 04 Dec 2013 11:35:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 32990 at http://iowapublicradio.org Impact of military spending cuts uneven among Iowa's defense companies There's a story in that Turducken http://iowapublicradio.org/post/theres-story-turducken <div><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">After first gaining popularity in New Orleans, the </span>Turducken<span style="line-height: 1.5;">—that’s a chicken stuffed inside a duck inside a turkey-- has made its way onto some of the more adventurous Thanksgiving tables in Iowa. For two restaurant owners in Oxford, it’s a way to share the cuisine of a city they left years ago. Iowa Public Radio’s </span>Durrie<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Bouscaren<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> reports. &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p></div><p></p> Thu, 28 Nov 2013 11:39:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 32764 at http://iowapublicradio.org There's a story in that Turducken Former energy CEO joins Senate race http://iowapublicradio.org/post/former-energy-ceo-joins-senate-race <p>A former energy company CEO joined the Republican pool of Senate hopefuls Tuesday with a week-long statewide announcement tour.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">During a stop in Cedar Rapids, Mark Jacobs' message focused on economic growth. He&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">said his experience as CEO of Houston-based Reliant Energy will help him address gridlock in Washington.</span></p> Tue, 19 Nov 2013 21:07:45 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 32366 at http://iowapublicradio.org Former energy CEO joins Senate race Former Guantanamo Bay Chaplain Wraps Up Iowa Tour http://iowapublicradio.org/post/former-guantanamo-bay-chaplain-wraps-iowa-tour <p>James Yee spent nearly a year as a military chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was appalled by the conditions he saw there, including what he describes as humiliating interrogation methods which he says often targeted prisoners' religion.</p><p>On his way home in 2003, Yee was detained by the U.S. military and accused of spying. He was held in solitary confinement for 76 days before ultimately being released, cleared of all charges, and honorably discharged.</p> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 12:02:30 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 31915 at http://iowapublicradio.org Former Guantanamo Bay Chaplain Wraps Up Iowa Tour Highlights around the State: Election 2013 http://iowapublicradio.org/post/highlights-around-state-election-2013 <p><strong>$81-million Bond Referendum approved for court services in Polk County</strong></p><p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Iowa City bars will remain 21-only after 10 p.m.&nbsp;</strong></p><p><strong>Cedar Rapids approves Local Option Sales Tax for road repair</strong></p><p></p> Wed, 06 Nov 2013 04:31:39 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren, Rob Dillard & Dean Borg & George Dorman 31690 at http://iowapublicradio.org Highlights around the State: Election 2013 Iowa City 21-only ordinance goes to voters... again http://iowapublicradio.org/post/iowa-city-21-only-ordinance-goes-voters-again <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Even on a slow night in downtown Iowa City, ID-checker Jake Park has a system.</span></p><p>“For everyone 21 or older, you get a wristband. 18, 19, 20, they get an X on their hand,” Park said, a senior at the University of Iowa. At ten o’clock, everyone without a wristband has to leave.</p><p>Park says there haven’t been too many issues with underage patrons staying late—a ticket is $300 for the first offense.</p><p>“Plus the cops always stop in around 9:50 anyways, and hang out in the back. So everyone’s like oh, (expletive) time to go!”</p> Fri, 01 Nov 2013 10:13:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 31451 at http://iowapublicradio.org Iowa City 21-only ordinance goes to voters... again Plans coming together for Cedar Rapids medical district http://iowapublicradio.org/post/plans-coming-together-cedar-rapids-medical-district <div><p>Plans for developing a regional medical district in the center of Cedar Rapids are beginning to come together. As Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports, area hospitals hope that by joining together, they can compete with other cities.&nbsp;</p></div><p></p><p></p><p>The MedQuarter in Cedar Rapids includes two large hospitals, smaller clinics, and nearby businesses. As a Self Supporting Municipal Improvement District, or SSMID,&nbsp;the group can levy taxes to improve the area.</p> Fri, 25 Oct 2013 19:34:20 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 31150 at http://iowapublicradio.org Plans coming together for Cedar Rapids medical district As cities mull over bond ratings, debate gets ugly in Coralville http://iowapublicradio.org/post/cities-mull-over-bond-ratings-debate-gets-ugly-coralville <p></p><p>Most cities and towns are selling bonds to borrow money.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">But Iowa Public Radio’s Dean Borg&nbsp; reports some Iowa cities have a big advantage in the </span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">cost</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> of borrowing. &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p> Tue, 22 Oct 2013 09:54:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren & Dean Borg 30910 at http://iowapublicradio.org As cities mull over bond ratings, debate gets ugly in Coralville Farmers carry mixed feelings over wind energy transmission line http://iowapublicradio.org/post/farmers-carry-mixed-feelings-over-wind-energy-transmission-line-0 <p>One of the companies banking on Iowa’s wind energy industry is Clean Line Energy Partners, a Houston-based operation with plans to build <a href="http://www.cleanlineenergy.com/projects">five large-scale high voltage transmission</a> lines in the country. As Iowa Public Radio’s&nbsp;Durrie&nbsp;Bouscaren&nbsp;reports, one of those lines would traverse Iowa, and it starts in the northwest corner of the state.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 21 Oct 2013 10:01:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 30848 at http://iowapublicradio.org Farmers carry mixed feelings over wind energy transmission line In shutdown's aftermath, medical research could see delays http://iowapublicradio.org/post/shutdowns-aftermath-medical-research-could-see-delays <p>Researchers operating on federal grants have welcomed the end of the partial government shutdown. As federal employees return to work, IPR’s Durrie Bouscaren considers some of the lasting implications for medical research in Iowa.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">At the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Doctor Sue </span>O’Dorisio<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is working on a drug for children with brain cancer. She pulls up an MRI image from a young woman who participated in one of her clinical trials—a tumor sits at the base of her brain.</span></p> Fri, 18 Oct 2013 20:51:41 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 30788 at http://iowapublicradio.org In shutdown's aftermath, medical research could see delays