Sandhya Dirks http://iowapublicradio.org en Graphic Novel Depicts John Lewis' 'March' Toward Justice http://iowapublicradio.org/post/graphic-novel-depicts-john-lewis-march-toward-justice John Lewis is the only person to have spoken at the 1963 March on Washington who is still alive. He was just 23 years old when he addressed the crowd of more than 200,000 at the Lincoln Memorial 50 years ago.<p>Lewis is a pillar of the civil rights movement. The son of sharecroppers in rural Alabama, he went on to become the president of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and then eventually, a U.S. Congressman from Georgia.<p>His story has been told before in documentaries and books, but now he's putting his life story into the form of a graphic novel, <em>March</em>. Sat, 31 Aug 2013 08:57:00 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 28374 at http://iowapublicradio.org Graphic Novel Depicts John Lewis' 'March' Toward Justice Filner's Exit Isn't The End Of San Diego's Mayoral Mayhem http://iowapublicradio.org/post/filners-exit-isnt-end-san-diegos-mayoral-mayhem On Friday, the embattled mayor of San Diego officially steps down. Allegations of sexual harassment against Bob Filner have rocked the eighth-largest American city, which now has to pick up the pieces and elect a new mayor.<p>The announcement last week that Filner would leave office was greeted with cheers, boos and a flurry of activity from the press — but it all went quiet when the soon-to-be ex-mayor emerged from a swell of bodyguards to speak at the podium.<p>"I take responsibility for putting the city through a very bad time," Filner said. "Again, I apologize to all of you. Fri, 30 Aug 2013 07:01:00 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 28317 at http://iowapublicradio.org Filner's Exit Isn't The End Of San Diego's Mayoral Mayhem San Diego Mayor Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations http://iowapublicradio.org/post/san-diego-mayor-resigns-amid-sexual-harassment-allegations Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>To San Diego now where, after weeks of accusations of sexual harassment accusations, apologies, denials, a lawsuit and a trip to a treatment center, the saga of Mayor Bob Filner is coming to a close. The city council has struck a deal under which Filner, a Democrat, will resign on August 30. That's the end result of a scandal that's seen 18 women accuse Filner of inappropriate behavior. Addressing the city council this evening, Filner again apologized to the women he offended. Fri, 23 Aug 2013 23:49:00 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 27991 at http://iowapublicradio.org San Diego Mayor Accused Of Sexually Harassing Women http://iowapublicradio.org/post/san-diego-mayor-accused-sexually-harassing-women Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>Pressure is growing on the mayor of San Diego to resign. Democrat Bob Filner is being accused by former friends and supporters of sexually harassing women. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 21:03:00 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 24109 at http://iowapublicradio.org County Jails Struggle to Treat Mental Health Issues http://iowapublicradio.org/post/county-jails-struggle-treat-mental-health-issues <p>Just about everyone – from the National Rifle Association to the American Civil Liberties Union — agrees that the mental health system in this country is broken. In Iowa, many local sheriffs say that means their county jails have become way stations for people with mental illness. Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports on what can happen when county jails are tasked with caring for the mentally ill.</p> Tue, 30 Apr 2013 14:54:16 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 20006 at http://iowapublicradio.org Dream Act Paperwork Could Be Test Run for Immigration Reform http://iowapublicradio.org/post/dream-act-paperwork-could-be-test-run-immigration-reform <p>Last year the Obama administration passed Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – known as the Dream Act. It gave immigrants who came to the United States as children a path to citizenship. Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports that as immigration reform looms on the horizon, many activists see the dream act as a test run.</p> Tue, 30 Apr 2013 14:50:33 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 20005 at http://iowapublicradio.org With Or Without Overhaul, Immigration Lawyers In Short Supply http://iowapublicradio.org/post/or-without-overhaul-immigration-lawyers-short-supply With immigration a hot-button issue in Washington, some version of immigration reform is likely this year. Even so, immigrant activist Sandra Sanchez concedes that the country might not be ready for an overhaul of its immigration laws.<p>Sanchez, director of the American Friends Service Committee Iowa's Immigrants Voice Program, doesn't mean that in political terms, but in practical ones. "We need to be prepared for the wave of millions of potential applicants that will be needing ... legal services," she says. Mon, 29 Apr 2013 19:26:00 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 19968 at http://iowapublicradio.org With Or Without Overhaul, Immigration Lawyers In Short Supply New Board of Regents Appointee Draws Controversy http://iowapublicradio.org/post/new-board-regents-appointee-draws-controversy <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Two new candidates went to the Capitol for job interviews yesterday-- &nbsp;as new appointees to the Board of Regents, which governs Iowa's public Universities. Iowa Public Radio’s </span>Sandhya<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Dirks reports one of those candidates—Robert Cramer—provoked a lot of controversy for his conservative views.&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 20 Mar 2013 12:32:20 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 17935 at http://iowapublicradio.org New Board of Regents Appointee Draws Controversy Mississippi River Levels Rise Slowly http://iowapublicradio.org/post/mississippi-river-levels-rise-slowly <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It got pretty shaky there for a bit, as river levels fell dangerously low, slowing down barge traffic essential to exporting Iowa’s grain crops. Mike Peterson with the Army Corps of Engineers in St. Louis says they were able to keep boats moving until mother nature stepped in to make the Mississippi navigable again.&nbsp;</span></p><p>"I think it’s a source of relief for a lot of folks in the Corps, the Coast Guard and the river industry."&nbsp;</p> Fri, 15 Mar 2013 20:57:51 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 17761 at http://iowapublicradio.org Mississippi River Levels Rise Slowly Diversity in Iowa Schools: It's a Small World After All http://iowapublicradio.org/post/diversity-iowa-schools-its-small-world-after-all <p></p><p></p><p>We've been hearing about some of the challenges with diversity in the Iowa City School District. There are other districts in Iowa with diversity policies, some of them much smaller.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Two and a half hours from Iowa City is the town of&nbsp;</span>Postville<span style="line-height: 1.5;">. &nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Postville made national news five years ago when the federal government&nbsp;raided the town's Hasidic owned meat packing plant and hundreds of undocumented workers were arrested.</span></p> Fri, 08 Mar 2013 11:44:39 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 17389 at http://iowapublicradio.org Diversity in Iowa Schools: It's a Small World After All Diversity in Iowa Schools: Won't You Be My Neighbor? http://iowapublicradio.org/post/diversity-iowa-schools-wont-you-be-my-neighbor <p></p><p></p><p>Yesterday we heard how the public outcry over the Iowa City School District Diversity policy continues to fuel a bitter debate in Iowa City. Like much of Iowa, Iowa City is facing a changing population and with that has comes a widening achievement gap. In the second part of a series about diversity in Iowa schools, reporter Sandhya Dirks takes a closer look at balancing school integration with divided neighborhoods and a new influx of residents.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 07 Mar 2013 12:54:11 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 17324 at http://iowapublicradio.org Diversity in Iowa Schools: Won't You Be My Neighbor? Diversity In Iowa Schools: The Elephant in the Room http://iowapublicradio.org/post/diversity-iowa-schools-elephant-room <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Demographics in Iowa are changing and perhaps no where is this fact more visible than in the classroom. In the first of a three part series about diversity in Iowa schools, Iowa Public Radio’s </span>Sandhya<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Dirks takes a look at the public outcry over a diversity policy in the Iowa City School District. It’s a policy that is exposing deep racial and cultural divides in a part of the state that prides itself on acceptance.&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 06 Mar 2013 20:46:52 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 17302 at http://iowapublicradio.org Diversity In Iowa Schools: The Elephant in the Room Former Romney Advisor Says GOP Should Accept Same-Sex Marriage http://iowapublicradio.org/post/former-romney-advisor-says-gop-should-accept-same-sex-marriage <p></p><p>Some high-profile Republicans are saying it’s time to “let go” of one battle in the culture wars — the fight against same-sex marriage.</p><p>David Kochel was an advisor to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Kochel says he wants to begin a conversation about changing the Republican Party’s idea of family values.</p><p>“I like to think of it as my Republican values, and my conservative values—being pro-marriage, pro-family, and believing in intact families as the best place to give children a hope for the future,” he says.</p> Tue, 29 Jan 2013 14:06:11 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 14169 at http://iowapublicradio.org Former Romney Advisor Says GOP Should Accept Same-Sex Marriage No Iowa driver's licenses for unauthorized immigrants granted deferred action http://iowapublicradio.org/post/no-iowa-drivers-licenses-unauthorized-immigrants-granted-deferred-action <p></p><p>The Iowa Department of Transportation says it will not issue driver's licenses or state identification cards&nbsp;to&nbsp;undocumented immigrants who have been&nbsp;granted deferred action by the Obama administration because they came to the United States as kids.</p><p>In Iowa almost 5,000 young immigrants—mostly of Mexican descent—have been granted temporary deferred action by the Obama administration. This means they can stay in the country, but after this ruling from the DOT, they can’t drive or receive a state ID in Iowa.</p> Thu, 27 Dec 2012 22:52:16 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 12586 at http://iowapublicradio.org No Iowa driver's licenses for unauthorized immigrants granted deferred action Secretary of State Matt Schultz talks voter rights in Washington http://iowapublicradio.org/post/secretary-state-matt-schultz-talks-voter-rights-washington <p></p><p>Iowa’s Secretary of State Matt Schultz was in Washington today to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports the committee was tackling the contentious issue of voters rights.</p> Thu, 20 Dec 2012 00:57:28 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 12292 at http://iowapublicradio.org Des Moines street chosen for EPA partnership http://iowapublicradio.org/post/des-moines-street-chosen-epa-partnership <p></p><p></p><p>Since 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has picked five cities each year for its <a href="http://www.epa.gov/dced/greencapitals.htm">Greening America's Capitals</a> project. On this year’s list? Des Moines.</p><p>The project will focus on revitalizing the 6<sup>th</sup> Avenue Corridor in downtown Des Moines.&nbsp; The idea is to make the corridor friendlier to pedestrians, with wider sidewalks, improved lightning and larger bus stop shelters.</p> Tue, 11 Dec 2012 13:16:06 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 11855 at http://iowapublicradio.org Des Moines street chosen for EPA partnership In the food wars, opposing sides take their message across the aisles http://iowapublicradio.org/post/food-wars-opposing-sides-take-their-message-across-aisles <p></p><p></p><p>Debate surrounding what we eat and how it’s made is nothing new, but in this year of outcry over pink slime, criticism regarding gestation crates and questions about the value of organic food, the various sides are reaching out in new ways and new places. Even when the opposing camps actually speak with each other, though, middle ground is still proving hard to find.</p> Tue, 20 Nov 2012 22:58:10 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 11055 at http://iowapublicradio.org In the food wars, opposing sides take their message across the aisles Latham Stays, Boswell's Out http://iowapublicradio.org/post/latham-stays-boswells-out <p></p><p></p><p>With two elder statesmen going head to head in Iowa’s third Congressional district, it was a given that Iowa would lose an incumbent. Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports that democratic Congressmen Leonard Boswell’s concession to Republican opponent Tom Latham was also a retirement speech.</p><p>It may have been a night of disappointment at Republican headquarters in Des Moines… but there was a bright spot. Tom Latham will be returning to Congress for a tenth term…</p> Wed, 07 Nov 2012 09:55:34 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 10393 at http://iowapublicradio.org Latham Stays, Boswell's Out President Obama, Paul Ryan, make final pleas to Iowa Voters http://iowapublicradio.org/post/president-obama-paul-ryan-make-final-pleas-iowa-voters <p></p><p></p><p></p><p>After a long and contentious presidential election season, the candidates made their closing arguments Monday. Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan made his last visit to Iowa on behalf of Mitt Romney. And President Barack Obama held the final campaign event&nbsp; of his political career in Des Moines.</p><p>While both men were still trying to drum up every last vote in a close election, they were also here to thank the voters who by now, have grown used to their constant visits.</p> Tue, 06 Nov 2012 16:13:51 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 10347 at http://iowapublicradio.org President Obama, Paul Ryan, make final pleas to Iowa Voters What Women Want: Women Voters in Iowa http://iowapublicradio.org/post/what-women-want-women-voters-iowa <p></p><p>During the contentious political race between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney—both candidates have targeted many groups—undecided voters, minority voters, young voters, older voters—but perhaps no voter bloc has been more sought after than women. &nbsp;Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks takes at a look women in this election.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 05 Nov 2012 13:35:10 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 10274 at http://iowapublicradio.org What Women Want: Women Voters in Iowa In Iowa, The Physics Of Politics http://iowapublicradio.org/post/iowa-physics-politics Both campaigns want to claim momentum heading into the final days of the campaign. This is especially true in battleground states like Iowa, where enthusiasm and voter turnout can make all the difference.<p>It's a common political metaphor — momentum — but is it a good one?<p>Iowa State University physicist John Hauptman knows a thing or two about momentum: "Take an object. It's the mass of that object times it's velocity," Hauptman tells <a href="http://news.iowapublicradio.org/post/fact-check-friday-whats-momentum-and-whos-got-it" target="_blank">Iowa Public Radio</a>. Sat, 03 Nov 2012 21:31:00 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 10239 at http://iowapublicradio.org In Iowa, The Physics Of Politics Fact Check Friday: What's "Momentum"? And Who's Got It? http://iowapublicradio.org/post/fact-check-friday-whats-momentum-and-whos-got-it <p></p><p>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.&nbsp; Iowa State University physicist John Hauptman weighs in.</p> Fri, 02 Nov 2012 11:24:00 +0000 Sarah McCammon & Sandhya Dirks 10171 at http://iowapublicradio.org Fact Check Friday: What's "Momentum"? And Who's Got It? Two Congressional incumbents square off in a battle for their political lives http://iowapublicradio.org/post/two-congressional-incumbents-square-battle-their-political-lives <p></p><p>It’s Congressman versus Congressman in Iowa’s new third district. As Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports, redistricting has put Congressmen Tom Latham and Leonard Boswell in a fight for their political lives. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 30 Oct 2012 21:43:42 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 10043 at http://iowapublicradio.org Two Congressional incumbents square off in a battle for their political lives Fact Check Friday: Obama and Romney Accuse Each Other of Lacking Specifics http://iowapublicradio.org/post/fact-check-friday-obama-and-romney-accuse-each-other-lacking-specifics <p> Fri, 26 Oct 2012 12:12:15 +0000 Sarah McCammon & Sandhya Dirks 9866 at http://iowapublicradio.org Fact Check Friday: Obama and Romney Accuse Each Other of Lacking Specifics Obama and Romney on the swing state campaign trail http://iowapublicradio.org/post/obama-and-romney-swing-state-campaign-trail <p></p><p>It’s the last lap of the presidential campaign, and President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney are fighting for every vote, and every electoral vote. That means they are spending a lot of time in Iowa. Wednesday began with a visit from the President in the morning and ended with a night time rally for Romney. Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks went to both events.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 25 Oct 2012 11:19:29 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 9861 at http://iowapublicradio.org Obama and Romney on the swing state campaign trail Vote While You Shop: 'Pop-Up' Poll Sites Sweep Iowa http://iowapublicradio.org/post/vote-while-you-shop-pop-poll-sites-sweep-iowa In a number of swing states, early voting means many people are already casting their ballots. Typically, that entails voting by mail or visiting a county elections office.<p>But in Iowa, satellite voting — where "pop-up" polling stations allow people to vote at convenient times and nontraditional locations — is growing in popularity.<p>On a recent afternoon in a Des Moines strip mall, families are stopping in at La Tapatia Tienda Mexicana for their weekly grocery haul. Wed, 24 Oct 2012 21:53:00 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 9857 at http://iowapublicradio.org Vote While You Shop: 'Pop-Up' Poll Sites Sweep Iowa Satellites sites are lighting up in Iowa http://iowapublicradio.org/post/satellites-sites-are-lighting-iowa <p><span style="font-family: monospace; font-size: 13px; ">In a number of swing states, early voting means people are already casting their ballots. Usually this entails voting by mail, or visiting your county elections office. Wed, 24 Oct 2012 05:32:20 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 9804 at http://iowapublicradio.org Satellites sites are lighting up in Iowa Watching the debate in Iowa http://iowapublicradio.org/post/watching-debate-iowa <p></p><p>Both Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama took the stage for their final debate in Florida last night. In Iowa, the campaigns staged watch parties. Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports that both camps believe their candidate went home with the win. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 23 Oct 2012 08:00:35 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 9752 at http://iowapublicradio.org Watching the debate in Iowa Bill Clinton tries to rally the Democratic base in Iowa http://iowapublicradio.org/post/bill-clinton-tries-rally-democratic-base-iowa <p>It's the final&nbsp;weeks of election season. And,&nbsp;&nbsp;as Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports democrats are calling on a familiar face to rally the base-- former President Bill Clinton.</p><p>Basically, they brought out the big gun. Clinton was stumping for Congressional candidate Christie Vilsack, She's in a close race with Republican incumbent Steve King. At a rally in Sioux City, the crowd showed the former President a lot of love.</p> Sat, 13 Oct 2012 08:06:45 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 9332 at http://iowapublicradio.org Bill Clinton tries to rally the Democratic base in Iowa Tom Latham and Leonard Boswell square off in Council Bluffs http://iowapublicradio.org/post/tom-latham-and-leonard-boswell-square-council-bluffs <p>Redistricting has pitted long term congressmen Republican Tom Latham and Democrat Leonard Boswell against each other in a tight race for Iowa’s 3<sup>rd</sup> district. As Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports, the Congressmen are trying to convince Iowan’s to send them back to Washington. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Fri, 12 Oct 2012 15:34:16 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 9298 at http://iowapublicradio.org Tom Latham and Leonard Boswell square off in Council Bluffs