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 Durrie Bouscaren reports, they’re expecting even harder times ahead.
As workers pack a van destined for a food pantry in North Liberty, food reservoir director Amanda Pieper walks the aisles of the distribution center that supplies 89 food pantries in Eastern Iowa.
"You see a lot of empty shelves… It's a good problem and a bad problem to have. It's good that it’s moving, bad that it’s not coming in."
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 Durrie Bouscaren, in the third and final installment of our series on military contracts.
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.
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.
After first gaining popularity in New Orleans, the Turducken—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 Durrie Bouscaren reports.
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.
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.
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.
The MedQuarter in Cedar Rapids includes two large hospitals, smaller clinics, and nearby businesses. As a Self Supporting Municipal Improvement District, or SSMID, the group can levy taxes to improve the area.
Most cities and towns are selling bonds to borrow money. But Iowa Public Radio’s Dean Borg reports some Iowa cities have a big advantage in the cost of borrowing.
Coralville’s spending on city development has conservative political groups up in arms, and at least one national organization has turned its sights to the November mayoral and city council elections. Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports.
One of the companies banking on Iowa’s wind energy industry is Clean Line Energy Partners, a Houston-based operation with plans to build five large-scale high voltage transmission lines in the country. As Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports, one of those lines would traverse Iowa, and it starts in the northwest corner of the state.
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.
At the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Doctor Sue O’Dorisio 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.
NASA has announced the Voyager I spacecraft, launched in 1977, has gone where no human-made vessel has gone before—interstellar space. And that discovery was made at the University of Iowa.
Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren caught up with the UI scientist who first realized Voyager had made it.
The frequencies showing that Voyager had left the outer reaches of the solar system were detected by a plasma wave instrument on board Voyager I, built at the University of Iowa in the 1970s. Research scientists including UI’s Bill Kurth regularly monitor the data.
After a six-month planning period, Cedar Rapids is kicking off the wellness initiative known as the Blue Zones Project. So far, Cedar Rapids is the largest Iowa community selected as a demonstration site for the program.
Blue Zones Director Mary Lawyer says the kickoff marks the beginning of a new phase.
A young company from upstate New York, that manufactures packaging materials with agricultural waste is moving into an empty facility in Cedar Rapids. Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports.
The old Cryovac building on the Southwest side of Cedar Rapids has been vacant for almost five years, ever since parent company Sealed Air closed the 250-person food packaging division. The announcement came about six months after the 2008 flood.
But now, new life is coming into the building—in the form of fungus.
In August of 1963, about two-thousand Iowans who couldn’t make it to the March on Washington gathered in Davenport. Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports from city that became a hub for the Civil Rights Movement in Iowa.
The federal commission that regulates the U.S. futures trading industry has permanently barred the accountant who audited Russell Wasendorf’s Peregrine Financial Group in Cedar Falls and did not discover his fraud scheme. Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports.
"Crystal Impressions" will stand at the entrance to the new Cedar Rapids amphitheater along the Cedar River. The floodable, concrete amphitheater incorporates earthen berms and flood walls to protect some of the city's west side.
Husband-and-wife duo Tom and Jean Latka created the piece in their Pueblo, Colorado studio.
Human rights groups are expecting thousands of refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to soon be resettled in the United States. Years of war and ethnically-motivated violence have led to a humanitarian crisis, forcing hundreds of thousands to leave their homes.
Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren checks in with a group of Congolese that arrived in Iowa years ago.
A small group of teachers in Cedar Rapids is trying a new way to inspire students to learn, by getting them out of the classroom and working on projects with community mentors. As Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports, the Big Ideas Group is wrapping up a summer pilot program, and will become an option for students across the district this Fall.
To get an idea of how this works, take 12th grader McKenna Cole, who—at a weekly meeting, explains to her fellow students why she’s working with a wastewater treatment plant to test how poplar trees can filter water.
Now that the Supreme Court has struck down a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, same sex couples can apply for their foreign-born spouses to join them in the United States. It’s estimated there are more than 28,500 gay and lesbian binational couples in the country. For years, many have been separated by immigration laws that didn’t recognize their marriage.
In Cedar Rapids, Canada geese are a constant sight in parks, rivers, and pretty much everywhere else. For years the city has tried to control the waterfowl, most recently by implementing a no-feeding ordinance in public parks. Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports from the front lines.
Doing more with less has been the operating theme for many social service providers experiencing federal budget cuts. In Iowa, organizations that help victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault are seeing a major overhaul of how they provide their services; the changes will begin to go into effect July 1. Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports.
27-year-old Shay clearly remembers the time she woke her son up at 5-am, packed what she could, and boarded a bus in Chicago, destined for Cedar Rapids.
It has been five years since the floods of 2008. Now, a week after another round of flooding in Eastern Iowa, IPR’s Durrie Bouscaren looks at how many Iowans are adapting to changing times.
More than a thousand runners participated in “Run the Flood,” an annual race through Cedar Rapids to commemorate the anniversary of a flood that would change the landscape of many Iowa cities and towns. Carmen Covington says she participates every year.
“It was shocking,” Covington said. “It was sad to see everything I had known my entire life to be destroyed under so much water,”
A body found in the Des Moines River is suspected to be that of abducted 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard, according to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. An autopsy will be conducted this morning to confirm identification.