Sarah McCammon

Sarah McCammon worked for Iowa Public Radio as Morning Edition Host from January 2010 until December 2013.

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Editor's note: With news that President-elect Donald Trump has selected Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, we are reprising this story, which was originally posted in January. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has a lot of qualities her party needs: She's a rising star who is young, female and the daughter of Indian immigrants. That background could make her an ideal vice presidential candidate for a Republican Party that needs to diversify. And while she has had recent...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: Republicans have been trying to figure out how to reach new groups of voters since their defeat in the presidential election four years ago. Now some party leaders are saying the GOP should do a better job of addressing the concerns of low-income Americans. As NPR's Sarah McCammon reports from Columbia, S.C., several presidential candidates made that point in a forum on poverty yesterday. SARAH...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Let's listen next to a presidential candidate seeking special status in the new year. Marco Rubio hopes to make himself the top choice of so-called establishment Republicans - those who hope to overcome the likes of Donald Trump. Rubio is challenging his fellow Floridian Jeb Bush for that establishment rule. NPR's Sarah McCammon spent yesterday with Rubio in Iowa. SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: In the small...

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: Late December is upon us. And that means a big day is coming, the first nominating contest in the presidential primary cycle. Beginning with Iowa, voters in four states go to the polls in February, and many candidates are spending a lot of time there. But as NPR's Sarah McCammon reports, Texas Senator Ted Cruz is focusing his energy elsewhere this week, with an eye on the month of March. SARAH MCCAMMON...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Republican presidential candidates are back on the campaign trail after debating last night in Las Vegas. It was the first Republican debate since the attacks on Paris and San Bernardino. The candidates sparred over domestic surveillance, immigration and ways to defeat ISIS. Now they're trying to convince voters that they're on the right side of those arguments. NPR's Sarah McCammon was with one of...

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott is playing an increasingly important role in his state's crucial Republican primary. He's also playing an important role in his party, as the only black Republican in the Senate at a time when the GOP is struggling to win minority support. Since August of this year, he's hosted most of his party's candidates for the 2016 nomination at venues around his state. Each of Tim's Town Halls , as he calls them, opens with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance — and an...

Jewish and Christian leaders are urging elected officials to show compassion to refugees, amidst public debate over allowing Syrian refugees into the country. A letter released on Wednesday by several leading evangelical Christian churches and other groups calls on elected officials to show "compassion and hospitality" to refugees fleeing violence. "They're eager to receive more refugees to provide them a place of security where their families can flourish if our government will simply ensure...

Four years ago, libertarians were an important force in the Republican presidential race. In the campaign for the 2012 nomination, Ron Paul was routinely drawing big crowds on college campuses. He made a strong third-place showing in Iowa's important first-in-the-nation caucuses. Even though he failed to win the 2012 nomination, his supporters continued to organize , drawing attention to their small-government beliefs and taking over control of much of the Republican Party of Iowa for a time....

There's a fierce political debate underway about how the U.S. should respond to refugees fleeing terror. Presidential candidates have weighed in, with many Republicans calling for keeping refugees from Syria, or other countries with an ISIS presence, out of the U.S. So far, it's a hypothetical debate for Iowans — no Syrian refugees have arrived in the state yet. But they are concerned — some over a Paris-style attack coming to the U.S., and others over proposals they've heard that could...

There will be a few empty seats around one Thanksgiving table this year: Donald Trump and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush are among those skipping Friday's Presidential Family Forum in Des Moines. The event is hosted by the conservative Christian group the Family Leader. President Bob Vander Plaats is seen as an evangelical kingmaker in Iowa. Discussions of politics and religion may be ill-advised at most holiday feasts, but not so here. Instead, Republican presidential hopefuls sit together...

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: We're going to start off talking politics. In a few minutes, we'll hear why some people are pretty angry at "Saturday Night Live," and it's not because they're getting mocked in a skit. But first we are heading to Iowa, where it is a big night for the Democrats who want to be president. Tonight is the annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner in downtown Des Moines. With Vice President Joe Biden clear that he...

In this presidential campaign, political outsiders are outshining experienced politicians. To succeed with the conservative Republican base in the early-voting state of Iowa, Ted Cruz will need to win over supporters of both outsiders and insiders vying for the nomination. At a restaurant in the Mississippi River town of Keokuk, Iowa, this week, the Texas senator addressed a full room over a loudspeaker. "God bless the great state of Iowa," Cruz said. "I spent most of last week in Washington,...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: Donald Trump is still running for president. Many in the GOP establishment thought they had a chance to get him out of the race. There was a huge backlash over his criticism of Senator John McCain's status as a war hero. Instead, Trump was back on the campaign trail today with a stop in South Carolina. And as reporter Sarah McCammon heard, Trump is showing no signs of backing down. SARAH MCCAMMON,...

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The nation is halfway between census years. The next decennial U.S. Census is coming up in 2020. And for the first time, it'll be offered online. That means census officials have lots of work to do to make sure no one is left behind. For several months this year, the Rev. Thurmond Tillman has been working for the Census Bureau. His main gig is at First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Ga., where's he's been a pastor for more than 30 years. The sun isn't quite up, but Tillman is already on...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmt7Taz6JUU House lawmakers in South Carolina have voted to slash funding for two of the state's largest public colleges in retaliation for the introduction of books with gay themes into the schools' freshman reading programs. In February, the South Carolina House of Representatives voted to cut $70,000 — the entire cost of the programs — from the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina Upstate. The Senate is debating the state budget this...

In a mobile classroom — basically a trailer outfitted with a desk and some chairs — music teacher Chris Miller works with a group of active kindergartners dressed in green and khaki school uniforms. He teaches them the basics: musical concepts, artists and styles of music. "Everybody repeat after me," he says. "Wade in the water." Kids sing back, "Wade in the water." Though classes like Miller's still exist, the arts have been known to fall down the priority list amid pressure on schools to...

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Researchers at the University of Iowa have received a $125,000 federal grant to study the effects of frack sand mining on air quality. The rise in hydraulic fracturing in the US and Canada has created demand for silica sand, used in the fracking process. There’s currently just one major frack sand mine in Iowa’s Clayton County. But parts of northeast Iowa are rich in these sand deposits. David Osterberg is an environmental health professor at UI. He says the research will largely focus on...

Broadlawns Medical Center has been serving low-income residents of Des Moines, Iowa, and the surrounding countryside for decades. Now there's a twist in Broadlawns' mission as a public hospital: helping people sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. On a recent Saturday morning, Jerrine Sanford traveled half an hour from the small town of Runnells to get her insurance questions answered at a hospital-run event. Sanford, 47, is out of work because of a back injury. She's worried...

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Even if the rollout of the federal health law had gone off without a technical hitch, getting millions of Americans to sign up for insurance would still be a tall order. That’s why the law includes funding for workers trained to help people find their way around the new system. But in rural states like Iowa, with populations spread across hundreds of miles, those workers face an especially daunting challenge.

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November 1 marks a month since the launch of the federal health insurance marketplace under Obamacare. As has been widely reported, the website has been plagued by problems from the start, and many Americans area struggling to get information. IPR's Sarah McCammon sat down with Iowa’s Insurance Commissioner, Nick Gerhart , to talk about how the rollout is going here. They also discussed whether Iowa has enough federal funding for navigators and others trained to help people sign up for...

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As we continue our look at the rollout of Obamacare in Iowa, we now turn to the implications of the new law for seniors. One of the key tenets of health reform is making coverage more accessible, by requiring everyone to get insurance – and spreading the risk among the young and old, the healthy and the sick. Experts say this means some younger, healthier workers will now pay more for their insurance. But for some older Iowans not yet eligible for Medicare, the rates will be within reach for...

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October 1 is an important milestone in the rollout of health reform. The new insurance marketplace where Iowans can select health coverage goes live on October 1 st . Iowa Public Radios Sarah McCammon and Clay Masters have an overview of what to expect on the health exchange.

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New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof speaks with IPRs Sarah McCammon Award-winning New York Times columnist and author Nicholas Kristof will discuss his book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30 at the University of Iowas Iowa Memorial Union.

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As the weather gets colder, bats will soon head into hibernation. But Iowa’s bat population is at an important juncture: Scientists are watching to see whether a devastating fungus that has already been discovered once in the state, will infect cave-dwelling bats.

Iowa Public Radio has named three finalists for its executive director position. According to a press release, the finalists are: Debra J. Fraser, former Chief Operating Officer and Station Manager at Houston Public Media; Myrna Johnson, Executive Director for the Boston Schoolyard Initiative; and William R. Reed, a former private-sector media executive and Midwest-based marketing consultant. IPR began a nationwide search for an executive director in April. Former CEO Mary Grace Herrington...

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Dr. Michael Blackwell , the University of Northern Iowa's Director for Multicultural Education, joins IPR's Sarah McCammon to preview a panel discussion at UNI on the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case. UNI’s American Democracy Project is sponsoring the discussion beginning at 4 p.m. Wednesday, September 11, in Maucker Union, University Room, on the UNI campus.

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