Durrie Bouscaren

Reporter

Durrie Bouscaren is a general assignment reporter, based in Des Moines. She covers breaking stories, economic news, and reports from the Statehouse during the legislative session. 

Bouscaren joined IPR in March of 2013 as a one-woman bureau in Cedar Rapids. Her passion for public radio began in high school, when she would listen to BBC World Service newscasts in the middle of the night. While attending Syracuse University, she reported and produced local news for member station WAER, and received a statewide Associated Press Broadcasters Association award for a report on Syracuse’s Southern Sudanese community. Bouscaren also covered Syracuse and small towns  throughout Central New York as a stringer for WRVO Public Media. Her work has aired on NPR's All Things Considered, WBEZ's Front and Center and KQED's The California Report

Bouscaren's favorite public radio program is Planet Money.

Pages

News
1:57 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Dubuque and Federal Agency Settle Over Race Discrimination Findings

Joyce Russell Iowa Public Radio

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.

Read more
News
5:21 am
Thu April 10, 2014

How a Cedar Rapids Emergency Room Saved Millions, and What it Means for the Whole State

Theresa Brown, who is enrolled in the coordinated care program at St. Luke's, sits in her home in Cedar Rapids.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

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.

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.

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.

Coordinating Care for Multiple Diagnoses

Read more
News
5:32 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Administrative Services Director Carroll Fired Amid Hush Money Revelations

John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

The embattled head of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services was fired today by Governor Branstad, after new evidence surfaced about confidential payments to  laid-off state workers.  

The former employees reached  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.  

Read more
News
3:35 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Branstad 'Working With Legislators' Towards Medical Marijuana Bill This Session

Governor Terry Branstad at the Statehouse.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad Photo by John Pemble

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.

Read more
News
6:36 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

After Younkers fire, questions remain

Damage viewed from the Skywalk in Downtown Des Moines.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

With street closures blocking off traffic in the heart of downtown Des Moines, workers from offices near the former Younkers building took to the skywalks to view the damage. Lori Jones says her earliest memory of the building was shopping for school supplies in the 60's.

"Younkers has been a fixture that whole time," Jones said. "It brings tears to my eyes."

Read more
News
5:21 am
Thu March 27, 2014

The Murky World of Emergency Room Billing

Five months after a bicycle accident, Martha Norbeck wonders if some of the charges on her ER bill could have been avoided.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

No matter how you slice it, medical care is expensive—especially in an emergency.

Martha Norbeck shuffles through paperwork as she looks back over her itemized hospital bill from a bike accident five months ago.

“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 muses. 

Read more
News
5:06 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

ISU Graduate Stranded in South Sudan Amid War

Joe Yassin in a photograph with coworkers from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Facebook

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. 

As a teenager, Joseph Yassin immigrated to Des Moines with his family, all war refugees from South Sudan.

Soon after he graduated from Iowa State University in 2011, Yassin returned to the newly independent country to work for an international development agency.

Read more
News
4:11 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

In Iowa’s Largest Counties, a Longer Wait for Trial

Breakdown of felony case processing times, Iowa's largest counties
Data provided by the Office of State Court Administration, Des Moines

Processing times for Iowa’s district courts vary throughout the state—often dependent on resources available for staff and court appearances. 

In Johnson County, a significant portion of cases take longer. The county 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.

County Attorney Janet Lyness says for years, space constraints have slowed the system.

Read more
News
9:52 am
Thu March 20, 2014

State Senator Calls for Federal Investigation Into Iowa Workforce Development

Bill Dotzler, D-Waterloo, speaks to reporters at a press conference at the Statehouse.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

After speaking with at least half of the administrative law judges who rule cases for unemployment disputes, State Senator Bill Dotzler (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.  

Read more
News
11:28 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

UI Students Call For Stricter Sexual Assault Policies, Mason Shares Own Experience

Mason listens to student testimony during an on-campus forum.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

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.  Others drew comparisons between the university’s formal zero-tolerance policies on drugs and plagiarism, but not for sexual assault.

President Sally Mason used her opening remarks to discuss her own experience with sexual assault, as an undergraduate student in Kentucky.

Read more
News
10:00 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Study: Iowa Casinos Reaching 'Maximum Penetration'

Signs for a Cedar Rapids casino line the first floor of City Hall.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

  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.

Read more
News
5:36 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Archaeologists Uncover Iowa City's Beginnings on UI campus

Project archeologists sift through dirt in a heated tent set up in Hubbard Park.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

Construction on the University of Iowa campus has uncovered the foundations of homes dating back to Iowa City’s earliest settlers.

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. 

Read more
News
5:37 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Propane Prices Hit Rural Towns Hardest

242 people live in the town of Laurel. Nearly all depend on propane to heat their homes and businesses.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

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.

Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren traveled to an area in Central Iowa that depends on propane, and came back with this story. 

Read more
News
8:41 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Saving the Last House on the Block

Greg Young stands with two pairs of 1930's shoes he found in a crawl space of the Brewer House
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

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 Durrie Bouscaren reports. 

Dawn Stephens clutches a blanket as she introduces me to the Brewer House. Even though we’re inside, the heat hasn’t worked for years. In the foyer are remnants of the home’s past—the wood flooring that was replaced in the thirties, linoleum from the seventies.

Read more
News
5:48 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Kombucha startup in Fairfield to expand with $250,000 grant

Meghan, Debi, and Jack Dowd stand in front of fresh batches of fermenting kombucha.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

A family-run microbrewery in Fairfield is on the brink of expanding their operation ten times over. As Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports, Shaktea Kombucha has built their brand around a fermented, flavored tea. 

Read more
News
9:32 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Homeless in the Cold

As Iowa and much of the Midwest  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.  

Read more
Year in Review
2:24 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Top IPR Reporter Picks of 2013

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.

Here is a list of the full features heard on today's show:

January 10 - Undocumented Immigrants at University

Read more
News
5:24 am
Tue December 17, 2013

As holidays approach, Iowa food pantries see increased demand

Staff coordinate a periodic lottery for financial assistance at the Crisis Center of Johnson County in Iowa City.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

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 Durrie Bouscaren reports, they’re expecting even harder times ahead.

As workers pack a van destined for a food pantry in North Liberty, food reservoir director Amanda Pieper walks the aisles of the distribution center that supplies 89 food pantries in Eastern Iowa.

"You see a lot of empty shelves… It's a good problem and a bad problem to have. It's good that it’s moving, bad that it’s not coming in."

Read more
News
5:22 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Decline in contracting means new roles for service members

CW4 Mark Thompson and Colonel Allen Meyer, of the US Property and Fiscal Office at the Iowa National Guard.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

If a second federal sequester happens in January, the US military is anticipating another $52 billion in defense spending cuts. In Iowa, the National Guard is finding ways to save money by reducing the amount of work that is performed by contractors. We get more from Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren, in the third and final installment of our series on military contracts.         

Read more
News
5:21 am
Thu December 5, 2013

As wars end, Iowa defense contractors seek new markets

Colin Mahoney of Rockwell Collins stands next to a flight deck that will be installed in transport jets for the Brazilian Air Force.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

Yesterday, as part of our 3-part series on defense contracting in Iowa, we introduced you to a Cedar Rapids manufacturer with just 12 employees. But it’s the industrial giants who tend to pull in the most contracts for the Department of Defense. When times get tough, many are finding profits overseas. In our second installment, Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren heads to Iowa’s largest defense contractor—Rockwell Collins.               

Read more
News
5:35 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Impact of military spending cuts uneven among Iowa's defense companies

On the production floor, CEO Gary Roling shows off a crosswind sensor used by the U.S. military.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

As the Department of Defense scales back military spending abroad, domestic arms manufacturers are seeing drastic changes in their revenues. For the first installment of this three part series, Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren profiles one of Iowa’s smallest defense contractors—the creator of a critical component for M-1 tanks.

Read more
News
5:39 am
Thu November 28, 2013

There's a story in that Turducken

Jeri and Ben Halperin of Augusta Restaurant, in Oxford.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

After first gaining popularity in New Orleans, the Turducken—that’s a chicken stuffed inside a duck inside a turkey-- has made its way onto some of the more adventurous Thanksgiving tables in Iowa. For two restaurant owners in Oxford, it’s a way to share the cuisine of a city they left years ago. Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports.    

Read more
News
3:07 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Former energy CEO joins Senate race

During a stop in Cedar Rapids, Mark Jacobs announces he'll run for the Republican nomination for Senate in 2014.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

A former energy company CEO joined the Republican pool of Senate hopefuls Tuesday with a week-long statewide announcement tour. 

During a stop in Cedar Rapids, Mark Jacobs' message focused on economic growth. He said his experience as CEO of Houston-based Reliant Energy will help him address gridlock in Washington.

Like Enron, Reliant was federally indicted for manipulating energy prices to create and profit from the California Electricity Crisis in 2000. Jacobs joined the company two years later.

Read more
News
6:02 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Former Guantanamo Bay Chaplain Wraps Up Iowa Tour

Yee gives a presentation Saturday at the Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

James Yee spent nearly a year as a military chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was appalled by the conditions he saw there, including what he describes as humiliating interrogation methods which he says often targeted prisoners' religion.

On his way home in 2003, Yee was detained by the U.S. military and accused of spying. He was held in solitary confinement for 76 days before ultimately being released, cleared of all charges, and honorably discharged.

Read more
News
10:31 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Highlights around the State: Election 2013

The 106-year old Polk County Courthouse will see rennovations.
Stephen Matthew Milligan Wikimedia Commons

$81-million Bond Referendum approved for court services in Polk County

Iowa City bars will remain 21-only after 10 p.m. 

Cedar Rapids approves Local Option Sales Tax for road repair

Read more
News
5:13 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Iowa City 21-only ordinance goes to voters... again

Jake Park checks ID's at a bar in downtown Iowa City.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

Even on a slow night in downtown Iowa City, ID-checker Jake Park has a system.

“For everyone 21 or older, you get a wristband. 18, 19, 20, they get an X on their hand,” Park said, a senior at the University of Iowa. At ten o’clock, everyone without a wristband has to leave.

Park says there haven’t been too many issues with underage patrons staying late—a ticket is $300 for the first offense.

“Plus the cops always stop in around 9:50 anyways, and hang out in the back. So everyone’s like oh, (expletive) time to go!”

Read more
News
2:34 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Plans coming together for Cedar Rapids medical district

Lakota Group

Plans for developing a regional medical district in the center of Cedar Rapids are beginning to come together. As Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports, area hospitals hope that by joining together, they can compete with other cities. 

The MedQuarter in Cedar Rapids includes two large hospitals, smaller clinics, and nearby businesses. As a Self Supporting Municipal Improvement District, or SSMID, the group can levy taxes to improve the area.

Read more
News
4:54 am
Tue October 22, 2013

As cities mull over bond ratings, debate gets ugly in Coralville

The Iowa City suburb has seen significant growth in recent years.
Dean Borg Iowa Public Radio

Most cities and towns are selling bonds to borrow money. But Iowa Public Radio’s Dean Borg  reports some Iowa cities have a big advantage in the cost of borrowing.    

Coralville’s spending on city development has conservative political groups up in arms, and at least one national organization has turned its sights to the November mayoral and city council elections. Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports. 

Read more
News
5:01 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Farmers carry mixed feelings over wind energy transmission line

In O'Brien County, Jay Hofland has agreed to sell part of his farm to Clean Line for a converter station, which would become the beginning of a high voltage, direct current transmission line traversing the state.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

One of the companies banking on Iowa’s wind energy industry is Clean Line Energy Partners, a Houston-based operation with plans to build five large-scale high voltage transmission lines in the country. As Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports, one of those lines would traverse Iowa, and it starts in the northwest corner of the state. 

Read more
News
3:51 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

In shutdown's aftermath, medical research could see delays

Dr. Sue O'Dorisio shows an image of a patient's brain after treatment with an imaging agent.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

Researchers operating on federal grants have welcomed the end of the partial government shutdown. As federal employees return to work, IPR’s Durrie Bouscaren considers some of the lasting implications for medical research in Iowa. 

At the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Doctor Sue O’Dorisio is working on a drug for children with brain cancer. She pulls up an MRI image from a young woman who participated in one of her clinical trials—a tumor sits at the base of her brain.

Read more

Pages