Sarah McCammon

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

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

Northeast Iowa is known for the big, scenic hills that dot the Mississippi River Valley and beyond.  Many of those hills contain sandstone. They can be used in hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas.

But some residents are concerned that more sand mining would harm the area’s environment.

Iowa Public Radio’s Sarah McCammon looks at the current state of “frac” sand mining in Iowa…and the potential for more.

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

You’ve probably heard about controversies over the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing – the technique known as “fracking.” There’s no oil or gas fracking in Iowa…but the increasing use of the technique is affecting the state. It’s creating a market for finely-grained silica sand from northeast Iowa.

And some residents of the area are in conflict over the future of frac sand mining.

John Pemble / IPR

IPR's Sarah McCammon and Joyce Russell discuss the latest news from the Iowa Statehouse.

Iowa Public Radio’s top leader, Mary Grace Herrington, has been fired by the organization’s board of directors. The board voted 6-1 Tuesday to dismiss Herrington. She had been the organization’s chief executive officer since 2009.

The lone dissenter, Mark Braun, is a new IPR board member and the interim Vice President for Strategic Communications at the University of Iowa. 

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

A winter snow storm dumped several inches of unexpected snow on the Des Moines area Tuesday morning,  much of it during the morning rush hour.  Forecasters are adjusting their predictions as more snow moves into the region.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Jeff Johnson says the storm's trajectory defied predictions, which had put most of the snowfall in southeast Iowa.

John Pemble / IPR

IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell joins Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon for a weekly preview of Iowa legislative politics.

Kathleen Masterson / Harvest Public Media

Controversy over so-called “frack” sand mining is heating up in northeast Iowa. A community meeting Wednesday evening in Decorah will focus on concerns about the possibility of mining development in Winneshiek County.

Fine sand can be used in the hydraulic fracturing process known as “fracking.” The technique is used to remove natural gas and oil from deep underground. There’s not any oil or gas fracking in Iowa right now – but there is a sand mine in northeast Iowa’s Clayton County, which is shipping frack sand out of state.

John Pemble / IPR

IPR's Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon checks in with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell for a look at the week ahead at the Iowa Legislature.

John Pemble / IPR

IPR's Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell joins Morning Edition  Host Sarah McCammon for a look at the upcoming week in Iowa legislative politics.

John Pemble / IPR

A replica of a rare, 67,000,000-year-old dinosaur fossil is in Iowa for a little while. “Sue" the T-Rex was discovered in South Dakota in 1990.

The Science Center of Iowa is hosting a traveling exhibit about the dinosaur Feb. 2 to May 12. Workers have been busy this week setting up the replica of the towering fossil.

That’s where IPR's Sarah McCammon caught up with the Science Center’s exhibit director, Allison Shwanebeck, and Michael Paha of the Field Museum in Chicago.

Drought is mostly seen as a bad thing — and for good reason. It dries up crops, destroys landscaping and stops ships from moving. But even the lack of rain clouds has a bright side.

Good For Grapes

Last summer it seemed like all Midwestern farmers were upset over the lack of rain. But not all of them were; those growing grapes were embracing the drought.

John Pemble / IPR

IPR's Sarah McCammon and Joyce Russell catch up on the week's news from the Iowa General Assembly.

Sarah McCammon / IPR

Over the past several months, we’ve been reporting on lots of problems caused by a lack of rain. And for good reason – the historic drought plaguing Iowa and much of the nation has dried up crops, destroyed landscaping, and killed off fish.

But like with most things, there can be a silver lining.

John Larson makes wine at Snus Hill Winery in Madrid, Iowa. This time of year, he’s not growing grapes – but he is mixing wine in giant, silver tanks.

John Pemble / IPR

Iowa lawmakers have completed the first week of the 2013 legislative session. They’ll return for the second week beginning Tuesday; they’re off Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King, Junior holiday.

IPR Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon spoke with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell about how the session is shaping up so far.

John Pemble / IPR

Iowa lawmakers have completed the first week of the 2013 legislative session. They’ll return for the second week beginning Tuesday. IPR Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon spoke with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell about how the session is shaping up so far.

Wayan Vota / Flickr

Beginning Tuesday, January 15,  Iowa will issue driver’s licenses and state IDs that comply with a new federal program called REAL ID.  The program is being phased in as part of legislation passed by Congress in 2005.  It's aimed at streamlining security at federal facilities and for air travel.

Mark Lowe of the Iowa Department of Transportation visited our Des Moines studio to explain what changes are coming.

John Pemble / IPR

The Iowa General Assembly reconvenes Monday, Jan 14. It’s a new year, with some new faces after the 2012 election. Iowa Public Radio Statehouse Correspondent Joyce  Russell sat down with Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon for a look ahead at the 2013 session.

John Pemble / IPR

The Iowa General Assembly reconvenes Monday, Jan 14. It’s a new year, with some new faces after the 2012 election. Iowa Public Radio Statehouse Correspondent Joyce  Russell sat down with Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon for a look ahead at the 2013 session.

If you grew up in a conservative Christian household any time in the last few decades, you may have seen a movie called “A Thief in the Night.” Otherwise, think B-movie horror flick – for Christian kids.  The movie was made in Iowa and turns 40 this year.

If you grew up in a conservative Christian household any time in the last few decades, you may have seen a movie called “A Thief in the Night.” Otherwise, think B-movie horror flick – for Christian kids.  The movie was made in Iowa and turns 40 this year.

NPR

CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley made history just before the election, when she became only the second woman to moderate a presidential debate.

Crowley visited Iowa State University Tuesday night to discuss the results of the 2012 election.

And she spoke with Iowa Public Radio’s Sarah McCammon by phone. Sarah began by asking Crowley what stands out to her from the 2012 campaign.

Flickr

Iowa Public Radio's Sandhya Dirks joins Sarah McCammon to discuss the real meaning of "momentum" ... and whether either campaign can claim to have it.  Iowa State University physicist John Hauptman weighs in.

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

With the presidential election looming, hardly anyone is paying attention to Ron Paul anymore. The Texas Congressman ran for the GOP nomination, but has not endorsed his party’s nominee. In several places including the battleground state of Iowa, many of Paul’s supporters are still involved in politics – but not on behalf of Mitt Romney. As Iowa Public Radio’s Sarah McCammon reports, they’re keeping the focus close to

home.

Sarah McCammon / IPR

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. And in cities across the country, crowds dressed in pink have been running and walking in the Race for the Cure. But some participants – and their dollars – have been missing from these fundraisers for the Susan G. Komen Foundation this year.

After a public outcry over a decision early this year to stop funding Planned Parenthood, the organization quickly reversed its position.

As Iowa Public Radio’s Sarah McCammon reports, Komen officials say participation is slowly coming back.


Clay Masters / IPR

Last week in our Friday Fact Check, we reviewed some of the statements Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made while he was campaigning in Iowa. This week, President Barack Obama was here on the heels of the second presidential debate. Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon caught up with IPR Reporter Clay Masters who covered the president's campaign stop at Cornell College in Mount Vernon on Wednesday. 

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

Living in a swing state means never-ending TV ads, lots of attention from the candidates, and dozens of campaign offices spread all over your state. 

But all that spending isn’t exactly trickling down to small businesses in local communities.

Instead, most of the spending goes to TV ads.

Clay Masters / IPR

With the presidential election campaign wrapping up in less than a month, Iowa continues to get lots of attention. IPR's Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon talks with IPR Correspondent Clay Masters about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's  visit to Van Meter, Iowa on Tuesday. 

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

Early in-person voting has begun in Iowa, the first swing state to open polling sites.

Residents of the battleground state can now vote in person at their local county auditors' offices or turn them in by mail. Some areas will offer additional satellite locations.

At the Polk County Auditor's office in downtown Des Moines Thursday morning, a line of voters stretched down the block as the door opened.

Peter Clay, 62, was among the many supporters of President Obama. He says he's volunteered for the campaign on his days off from his job as a zookeeper.

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