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 and Harvest Public Media.

Sarah's favorite public radio program is All Things Considered.

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Health
3:11 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Lawmakers Weigh Closing Two of State's Four Mental Health Facilities

The Indepenence Mental Health Institute in Independence, IA opened in 1873.

Iowa lawmakers from the House and Senate weighed the benefits of closing two of the state's four mental health institutes, during a joint subcommittee today.

Under Gov. Terry Branstad’s proposal the Clarinda and Mt. Pleasant facilities would close, consolidating adult psychiatric services at Independence and Cherokee mental health institutes.  Clarinda has 9 inpatient psychiatric beds and Mt. Pleasant 15.

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News
2:23 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

AIB College of Business Merging with University of Iowa

AIB College of Business is merging with the University of Iowa, with the AIB campus becoming UI's Des Moines campus. UI students may start classes in Des Moines as early as fall 2015.
Photo by John Pemble

Des Moines-based AIB College of Business is merging with the University of Iowa, thus increasing UI’s presence in central Iowa.

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
4:50 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

High Court Says Defendant's Good Deed Didn't Sway Jury's Opinion of Codefendant

Illustration by Eric Molinsky
Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction

The Iowa Supreme Court says the good deed of one defendant did not unfairly sway the jury's opinion of his codefendant. 

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Statehouse and Politics
10:26 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Iowa Tourism Against Early School Start

Mercedes Potter sits on a dinosaur at an Iowa gas station.
Mercedes Potter

Iowa’s tourism industry does not support a bill in the Iowa House that would allow school districts and private accredited schools to begin the academic year earlier than Sept. 1.  The industry worries an earlier start to the school year would deplete the high-school-age workforce during late summer.

Gaela Wilson of the Iowa Group Travel Association says tourism greatly affects small town economies since summertime dollars flow into the rest of the community.

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Health
7:13 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Telemed Abortion, Under Fire and Unique to Iowa

Planned Parenthood Rosenfield Center Manager Fiona Tubmen-Scovack (left) and Dr. Jill Meadows demonstrate telemed technology.
Sarah Boden/Iowa Public Radio

Today marks the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S.  Supreme Court ruling which over turned state laws banning abortion. 

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Statehouse and Politics
12:04 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Grassley Wants Bankruptcy Protections for Farmers

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) says when Congress passed bankruptcy reform in 2005, it allowed farmers to sell portions of their property without paying capital gains tax. He says the U.S. Supreme Court undercut this protection in 2012.
cwwycoff1/Flickr

Iowa’s senior U.S. senator put forth legislation today to protect farmers during bankruptcy.

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Statehouse and Politics
1:40 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

First Week in Congress: "Like Drinking Out of a Hose"

Rep. David Young (R-IA) represents most of southwest Iowa in the U.S. House of Represenatives.
Young of Iowa

Iowa Congressman David Young says his first week in Congress was extremely busy.

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Statehouse and Politics
4:52 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Ernst in Spotlight: Will Counter Obama Address

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst on election night, Nov. 4, 2014
Credit John Pemble

U.S.  Senator Joni Ernst will be the first freshman senator to give the GOP rebuttal to the State of the Union address.    

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
2:53 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Iowa's Chief Justice Wants to End Racial Disparity

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

Chief Justice Mark Cady of the Iowa Supreme Court says Iowa’s criminal justice system is marked by racial disparities.

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Statehouse and Politics
1:48 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Grassley Wants More Oversight

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) says a change to the Congressional budgeting schedule would allow for more oversight of federal agencies.
Skidmore/Flickr

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley says now that Republicans are in control of the Senate, he wants a greater focus on Congressional oversight.

One way the Iowa Republican is affecting this shift is by co-sponsoring a bill that changes Congressional budgeting from a one-year to a two-year cycle. He says the second year of the schedule allows Congress more time for the review, monitoring, and supervision of federal programs.

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Statehouse and Politics
5:45 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Branstad: Infrastructure a "Major Focus"

Governor Terry Branstad in his formal office at the Iowa Capitol. He will be sworn in for his sixth non-consecutive term as governor on Friday.
Credit John Pemble / IPR

Clay Masters: It's Morning Edition on Iowa Public Radio. I'm Clay Masters. Governor Terry Branstad delivers his condition of the state speech this morning where he'll lay out his priorities in 2015. We sat down with the governor in his formal office at this capitol yesterday to get a bit of a preview. I start by asking the governor if this is the year a funding method will be approved to fix the state's deficent roads and bridges. 

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
3:53 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Iowa Supreme Court Gives Inmates More Control of Wages

Pews and other church furnishings are one of the products manufactured by inmates through the Iowa Prisons Industries program.
Iowa Prison Industries

The Iowa Supreme Court says inmates can increase payments for court-ordered restitution, even if the amount they pay to the Iowa Department of Corrections is reduced. 

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Business and Economy
5:44 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Iowa Biodiesel Production Drops Slightly in 2014

Biodiesel is produced from animal fats and vegetable oils, like soybean oil.
United Soybean Board

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association says Iowa produced 227 million gallons of biodiesel in 2014. 

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Statehouse and Politics
4:54 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Blum May Face Repercussions for Vote Against Speaker

Rod Blum (left) and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) speaking with small business owners at a business roundtable at MobileDemand in Hiawatha.
Gage Skidmore

Though Ohio Republican John Boehner won a third term as Speaker of the House, he does not have a friend in Iowa Congressman Rod Blum of Dubuque.

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Statehouse and Politics
11:25 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Grassley Assumes Senate Judiciary Chairmanship

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is the first non-lawyer to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Gage Skidmore

With the 114th Congress sworn in, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley takes the reins of the Senate Judiciary Committee as chairman.

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History
3:29 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Harkin Archive Moves In

Harkin Institute Director Marsha Ternus (right) and Political Papers Archivist Hope Grebner stand in front of approximately 800 boxes of Sen. Tom Harkin’s papers and archival materials. The boxes arrived from Harkin's Washington office this morning.
Sarah Boden/Iowa Public Radio

A semi-truck carrying approximately 800 boxes from retired U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin's Washington office arrived at Drake University today.  Inside are papers and other archival materials—photos, video, mementos—that will now call the Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement "home."

The boxes chronicle Harkin's four-decade-long congressional career.  The Cumming native served 10 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, and 30 years in the Senate. 

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
1:15 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Traffic Fatalities Slightly Higher in 2014

A crashed vehicle on the side of I80 in Iowa.

The Iowa Department of Transportation is reporting 321 traffic related deaths in 2014, or four more than last year.

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
5:22 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Court Sends Ex Cop Back to Prison, He Appeals

Pictured above is an ASP baton. Former officer Mersed Dautovic beat Octavius Bonds with a baton on September 12, 2008.
Wikipedia/Dmg ie

A former Des Moines police officer, who was convicted in 2012 of using excessive force, has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of not returning to prison.

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Health
3:33 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Holiday Mental Health Check

Russian mulled wine.
hc.saustrup

While the holidays may be called the most joyful time of the year, many people simply find them to be the most stressful.

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Business and Economy
6:31 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Investors Want a Piece of Fannie and Freddie

Adjustable-rate mortgages lead to the subprime mortgage crisis. This practice played a large part in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s 2008 insolvency.
Dale Calder

Urbandale’s Continental Western and other investors in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren't receiving dividend checks since all profits from the mortgage lenders are being turned over to the U.S. Treasury. 

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
3:40 pm
Sat December 13, 2014

Homeowners, Not Banks and Developers Get Warranty Protections

DerekA

Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday, only individual homeowners are protected under the Warranty of Workmanlike Construction, which holds builder venders accountable for shoddy workmanship.

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Statehouse and Politics
3:32 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Harkin Bids Farewell to the Senate

Sen. Tom Harkin will retire from the U.S. Senate in January after 40 years in Congress.
John Pemble

Retiring Sen. Tom Harkin delivered his Farewell speech on the Senate floor today.  He is retiring after 40 years in Congress.

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Education
3:17 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Low-income Kids' Education Gets $1.1 Million Boost

Drake University will receive more than $1.1 million to fund Early Head Start programming in Des Moines.
Bart & Co

Education for low-income children in Des Moines is receiving more than $1.1 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
4:45 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Nobel Laureate Has Iowa Friends

Kailash Satyarthi, children's rights activist and 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
Comissão de Educação, Cultura e Esporte

One of the two laureates receiving the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in children’s rights was nominated by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin.

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Environment
2:14 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Grassley Wants Wind Tax Credit to Go Further

Iowa wind farms generate much of the state's electricity.
Brooke Raymond

Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley says the Senate will soon vote on the long-delayed tax extenders bill. The legislation groups more than 50 tax breaks, including wind energy incentives.

Because Iowa is a leader in wind energy production, Grassley has been vocal on the need to extend the tax credits. But Grassley says the bill doesn’t go far enough.

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Environment
1:35 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Grassley Says Congressional Republicans Will "Neuter" EPA Proposal

Debate continues over proposed changes to the federal oversight of waterways. The Des Moines River is among those affected by the pollution the rule aims to improve.
John Marvig

A proposal to modify the Clean Water Act from the Environmental Protection Agency will face stiff opposition come January, says U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley.  That’s when both the House and the Senate will be held by the GOP.

Grassley and other Republicans have spoken harshly against the Waters of the U.S. rule, which would increase federal oversight of U.S. waterways.

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Statehouse and Politics
7:15 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Harkin Reflects on His Legacy

Sen. Tom Harkin will retire from the U.S. Senate in January 2015 after 40 years in Congress.
Photo by John Pemble

Sen. Tom Harkin retires from the U.S. Senate in January. He discusses his congressional legacy with Morning Edition, and gives a hint to his life's next chapter. 

Clay Masters: It’s Morning Edition on Iowa Public Radio. I’m Clay Masters. U.S. Democratic Senator Tom Harkin is retiring. He’s been a member of congress for 40 years—10 years in the House, and 30 in the Senate. Sen. Harkin is with me to discuss his career, and also what’s next.  Hello, Senator.

Sen. Tom Harkin: Good Morning. Good to be with you, Clay.

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
11:52 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Limits on Expert Witness Testimony

Joe Gratz

The Iowa Supreme Court says expert witnesses cannot testify to a victim's credibility.

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Education
2:48 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Harkin Proposes Federal Funding for Higher Ed

Beardshear Hall on the Iowa State University campus.
Credit michelec317

Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin says he wants states that increase funding to higher education to receive matching federal grants.

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Health
9:46 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Parents of Mentally Ill Children Rally Iowa Capitol

Parents of children with severe mental health issues who could not attend the rally asked to be represented with stuffed animals.
Sarah Boden/Iowa Public Radio

Advocates and parents of children with severe mental health issues rallied in Iowa’s Capitol Rotunda today, for the release of funding from the Iowa Department of Human Services. 

They say $6 million earmarked for services like respite care and therapy hasn’t been distributed. As a result, parents say the wait time for these services has ballooned to more than two years.

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