Durrie Bouscaren http://iowapublicradio.org en Data Centers in Iowa: Are the Incentives Worth It? http://iowapublicradio.org/post/data-centers-iowa-are-incentives-worth-it <p>Google, Facebook and Microsoft have all made large investments to build large data center facilities in the state of Iowa. All three have also received multi-million dollar tax exemptions, rebates, and grants to entice them to come. In Part One of Iowa Public Radio’s data center series, we talked about why our state appeals to these Silicon Valley titans. Today, reporter Durrie Bouscaren visits Council Bluffs to ask, what’s in it for our state?&nbsp;</p><p></p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 09:59:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 42714 at http://iowapublicradio.org Data Centers in Iowa: Are the Incentives Worth It? Evictions Looming for Des Moines Homeless http://iowapublicradio.org/post/evictions-looming-des-moines-homeless <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Just south of downtown Des Moines, and tucked away from the families and bicyclists visiting Grey’s Lake, six people live under the Martin Luther King Bridge.</span></p><p>“It’s a lot scarier than people think,” says 52-year-old Bonnie Schroeder.</p><p>For the second time in two years, the city of Des Moines is evicting about 40 people who are homeless and living in camps within the city. Some have already packed up and moved on—others, including Schoeder, are appealing the city’s decision.</p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 10:32:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 42515 at http://iowapublicradio.org Evictions Looming for Des Moines Homeless Biologists Find Correlation Between Bald Eagle Deaths and Lead Shot http://iowapublicradio.org/post/biologists-find-correlation-between-bald-eagle-deaths-and-lead-shot <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Lead shot used by deer hunters in the Upper Midwest is getting into the digestive tracts of bald eagles, according to a</span>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/studysummaryrevJune42014.pdf">two-year study</a> by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.&nbsp;</p><p>Researchers<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;found 36 percent of leftover deer carcasses in a four-state national wildlife refuge contained lead fragments, which scavenging eagles use as a food source.&nbsp;</span></p> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 22:21:11 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 42015 at http://iowapublicradio.org Biologists Find Correlation Between Bald Eagle Deaths and Lead Shot Candidate Profile: Robert Cramer http://iowapublicradio.org/post/candidate-profile-robert-cramer <p>Read this candidate profile of 3rd District Candidate Robert Cramer. He was interviewed as part of IPR's 2014 Primary Voter Guide <a href="http://iowapublicradio.org/topic/2014-voter-guide" target="_blank">series</a>. Tue, 27 May 2014 14:35:04 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren & Person: Katherine Perkins 41249 at http://iowapublicradio.org Candidate Profile: Robert Cramer Candidate Profile: Brad Zaun http://iowapublicradio.org/post/candidate-profile-brad-zaun <p>Read this candidate profile of 3rd District Candidate Brad Zaun.&nbsp; He was interviewed as part of IPR's 2014 Primary Voter Guide <a href="http://iowapublicradio.org/topic/2014-voter-guide" target="_blank">series</a>. Tue, 27 May 2014 14:19:56 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren & Katherine Perkins 41248 at http://iowapublicradio.org Candidate Profile: Brad Zaun Arts Education Initiative to Expand on Des Moines' North Side http://iowapublicradio.org/post/arts-education-initiative-expand-des-moines-north-side <p>A Des Moines elementary school that was once on a list of the state’s lowest-achieving schools has been removed, after significant improvements to annual scores and disciplinary issues. As Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports, an arts education program at Findley Elementary will soon expand to four other schools in the district.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Administrators say math and reading scores at </span>Findley<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Elementary have improved significantly. Students miss fewer days of school, and parents are more involved.</span></p> Wed, 21 May 2014 21:58:45 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 41017 at http://iowapublicradio.org The Waiver: Mental Health and Disability Services in Iowa http://iowapublicradio.org/post/waiver-mental-health-and-disability-services-iowa <p>Legislators this year approved increased funding for a program that financially supports Iowans with disabilities who receive home-based care. The $6 million allocation to “buy down” the two-year waiting list is not a done deal. As Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports, advocates are concerned Governor Branstad will veto the funding, as he did last year. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Thu, 15 May 2014 10:24:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 40643 at http://iowapublicradio.org The Waiver: Mental Health and Disability Services in Iowa 6 Years After the Flood, Last Buyout Homes Go To Auction in Mason City http://iowapublicradio.org/post/6-years-after-flood-last-buyout-homes-go-auction-mason-city <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">On a Saturday morning in Mason City, city officials give a group tour of eight homes once flooded in 2008, in the hopes that someone will come to buy one. and move it out of the floodplain.</span></p><p>It can cost thousands of dollars to pay a contractor to move a two-story, historic house, and turnout is minimal. But a handful of former residents show up to walk through their homes one last time.</p> Fri, 09 May 2014 10:18:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 40332 at http://iowapublicradio.org 6 Years After the Flood, Last Buyout Homes Go To Auction in Mason City In Medical Billing, Everyone Pays a Different Price http://iowapublicradio.org/post/medical-billing-everyone-pays-different-price <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In a small room stuffed with cubicles at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, a team of patient advocates answers phones, enters data, and determines who is eligible for financial assistance.</span></p><p>When a patient at Mercy is faced with a hospital bill they can’t pay, they come here. Team leader Karla Vaquerano-Serio says many times, it’s only a matter of helping a patient sign up for a federal program they didn’t realize they qualified for.</p> Fri, 02 May 2014 10:30:00 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 39987 at http://iowapublicradio.org In Medical Billing, Everyone Pays a Different Price Microsoft Announces $1.1 Billion Data Center in West Des Moines http://iowapublicradio.org/post/microsoft-announces-11-billion-data-center-west-des-moines <p>It's official: Microsoft is behind the 1.2-million square-foot data center coming to West Des Moines.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Officials announced Friday that Microsoft will build a four-phase, regional data center costing a total of $1,126,218,400. Formerly known as Project </span>Alluvion<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the 154-acre site will house servers and computer equipment to operate web portal services like the Cloud and </span>XBox<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Live. Completion is expected in early 2021.</span></p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:54:19 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 39334 at http://iowapublicradio.org Microsoft Announces $1.1 Billion Data Center in West Des Moines Mercy Hospital Expands Capacity for Mental Health Patients http://iowapublicradio.org/post/mercy-hospital-expands-capacity-mental-health-patients <p>Mercy Medical Center is expanding its capacity to treat people for short term mental health emergencies on its Des Moines campus. The nearly $12 million project moves the behavioral health treatment center from a separate facility, to take up two floors of the hospital’s west building.</p><p>Dr. Sasha Khostravi&nbsp;directs the unit for children and teens. Often—he says—there aren’t enough psychiatric beds to meet demand. T<span style="line-height: 1.5;">he average stay in the inpatient facility is three days.</span></p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:48:27 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 39260 at http://iowapublicradio.org Mercy Hospital Expands Capacity for Mental Health Patients After 40 Years, Iowa Inmate Granted Parole To Assisted Living Facility http://iowapublicradio.org/post/after-40-years-iowa-inmate-granted-parole-assisted-living-facility <p>Iowa inmate Rasberry Williams, 68, will be released on parole after serving nearly four decades of a life sentence for first-degree murder.</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 19:49:43 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren 39220 at http://iowapublicradio.org After 40 Years, Iowa Inmate Granted Parole To Assisted Living Facility 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