Sarah Boden


Sarah Boden is a general assignment reporter for Iowa Public Radio based in Des Moines. Before coming to Iowa, she was a freelance reporter and radio producer in the Twin Cities. In addition to IPR, Sarah's work has appeared on NPR, WBUR's "Here and Now" and Harvest Public Media.

Sarah's favorite public radio program is All Things Considered.


4:01 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Iowa May Require Radon Mitigation for New Homes

Neighborhood in Sioux Center, IA. The Iowa Department of Public Health says levels of radon gas can occur in any neighborhood, in homes both old and new.
Don Graham

Iowa has the highest average for indoor radon concentration in the nation, according to the University of Iowa. 

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6:30 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Abortion Reversal Comes to Iowa

Banner outside of Women’s Choice Center in Bettendorf advertizing abortion reversal.
Women’s Choice Center

A 2012 study found 87 percent of women who seek an abortion were highly confident about the decision before receiving any pre-abortion counseling. But what if a woman changes her mind?

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
5:03 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Iowa Senate to Vote on New Protections for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victims

Flickr / Hibr

A bill in the Iowa Senate aims to expand the legal protections of domestic violence victims.

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2016 Elections
4:25 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Online Voter Registration Coming to Iowa

Flickr / Daniel Morrison

As Iowa’s Secretary of State works to implement online voter registration, the Iowa legislature weighs in.

A subcommittee in the Iowa Senate is considering a bill that allows voters to provide their birth date and a unique identifying number, like the last four digits of a Social Security number, to register to vote online. Voters would then verify their identity with an electronic signature. 

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
11:39 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Iowa Senate Mulls Juvenile Sentencing

Barbed wire fence at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville.

A subcommittee in the Iowa Senate chose not to pass the current version of a juvenile sentencing bill, but instead are looking for suggestions on how to improve the legislation. 

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
2:19 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

High Court Says Attorney Must Pay Speeding Ticket

The city of Sioux City is one of several Iowa municipalities to use traffic cameras.
Flickr / Dr. Warner

The Iowa Supreme Court says it’s legal for cities to issue tickets to vehicle owners using traffic cameras.

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4:57 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Sun May Set on Indoor Tanning for Minors

Flickr / gosheshe

A bill that bans minors from commercial tanning beds due to risk of skin cancer has cleared a committee in the Iowa House, despite objections from a coalition of Republicans on the panel.  

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
6:25 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Farmland Values Drop Across the Corn Belt

Harvest time in Iowa.
Flickr / TumblingRun

The value of farmland in the Corn Belt is dipping. In Iowa value dropped 7 percent last year. 

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11:11 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Psychiatrist Says Mental Health Institute Should Stay Open

An original building from the Mt. Pleasant Mental Health Institute. The Kirkbride-designed building was constructed circa 1861.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

A Cedar Rapids psychiatrist is concerned with the closing of the Mt. Pleasant Mental Health Institute and a general lack of mental health services, including specialized residential programs.

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1:14 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Teen Motherhood At Historic Lows, But Child Poverty Up

Flickr /M Glasgow

The teen birth rate in Iowa is down more than 35 percent since the year 2000.

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6:28 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

AIB, UI Transition Update

AIB College of Business is gifting its 20-acre campus to University of Iowa. The last AIB class will graduate in June 2016. UI will begin operations July 1, 2016.
John Pemble/IPR

The AIB College of Business announced new details today about the gifting of its 20-acre Des Moines campus to the University of Iowa.  

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6:16 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Lawmakers Scrounge Up Bus Money for Rural School Districts

Former school in Shipley, Iowa. Shipley and Nevada consolidated their school districts in 1958.
Carl Wycoff

A bill in the Iowa house would allow school districts to levy taxes to supplement transportation costs, but some say the legislation doesn't do enough to help rural districts.

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1:33 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Grassley Says Taking USDA Off Food Safety Jeopardizes Health of Consumers

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) inspector examines a shipment imported frozen meat at the Port of New Orleans in New Orleans, LA on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013.
USDA/Anson Eaglin

President Obama wants all food safety regulation handled by a single new federal agency. 

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3:11 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Lawmakers Weigh Closing Two of State's Four Mental Health Facilities

The Indepenence Mental Health Institute in Independence, IA opened in 1873.

Iowa lawmakers from the House and Senate weighed the benefits of closing two of the state's four mental health institutes, during a joint subcommittee today.

Under Gov. Terry Branstad’s proposal the Clarinda and Mt. Pleasant facilities would close, consolidating adult psychiatric services at Independence and Cherokee mental health institutes.  Clarinda has 9 inpatient psychiatric beds and Mt. Pleasant 15.

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2:23 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

AIB College of Business Merging with University of Iowa

AIB College of Business is merging with the University of Iowa, with the AIB campus becoming UI's Des Moines campus. UI students may start classes in Des Moines as early as fall 2015.
Photo by John Pemble

Des Moines-based AIB College of Business is merging with the University of Iowa, thus increasing UI’s presence in central Iowa.

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
4:50 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

High Court Says Defendant's Good Deed Didn't Sway Jury's Opinion of Codefendant

Illustration by Eric Molinsky
Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction

The Iowa Supreme Court says the good deed of one defendant did not unfairly sway the jury's opinion of his codefendant. 

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Statehouse and Politics
10:26 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Iowa Tourism Against Early School Start

Mercedes Potter sits on a dinosaur at an Iowa gas station.
Mercedes Potter

Iowa’s tourism industry does not support a bill in the Iowa House that would allow school districts and private accredited schools to begin the academic year earlier than Sept. 1.  The industry worries an earlier start to the school year would deplete the high-school-age workforce during late summer.

Gaela Wilson of the Iowa Group Travel Association says tourism greatly affects small town economies since summertime dollars flow into the rest of the community.

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7:13 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Telemed Abortion, Under Fire and Unique to Iowa

Planned Parenthood Rosenfield Center Manager Fiona Tubmen-Scovack (left) and Dr. Jill Meadows demonstrate telemed technology.
Sarah Boden/Iowa Public Radio

Today marks the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S.  Supreme Court ruling which over turned state laws banning abortion. 

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Statehouse and Politics
12:04 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Grassley Wants Bankruptcy Protections for Farmers

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) says when Congress passed bankruptcy reform in 2005, it allowed farmers to sell portions of their property without paying capital gains tax. He says the U.S. Supreme Court undercut this protection in 2012.

Iowa’s senior U.S. senator put forth legislation today to protect farmers during bankruptcy.

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Statehouse and Politics
1:40 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

First Week in Congress: "Like Drinking Out of a Hose"

Rep. David Young (R-IA) represents most of southwest Iowa in the U.S. House of Represenatives.
Young of Iowa

Iowa Congressman David Young says his first week in Congress was extremely busy.

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Statehouse and Politics
4:52 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Ernst in Spotlight: Will Counter Obama Address

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst on election night, Nov. 4, 2014
Credit John Pemble

U.S.  Senator Joni Ernst will be the first freshman senator to give the GOP rebuttal to the State of the Union address.    

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
2:53 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Iowa's Chief Justice Wants to End Racial Disparity

Iowa Judicial Branch Building in Des Moines, May 17, 2013.
John Pemble

Chief Justice Mark Cady of the Iowa Supreme Court says Iowa’s criminal justice system is marked by racial disparities.

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Statehouse and Politics
1:48 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Grassley Wants More Oversight

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) says a change to the Congressional budgeting schedule would allow for more oversight of federal agencies.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley says now that Republicans are in control of the Senate, he wants a greater focus on Congressional oversight.

One way the Iowa Republican is affecting this shift is by co-sponsoring a bill that changes Congressional budgeting from a one-year to a two-year cycle. He says the second year of the schedule allows Congress more time for the review, monitoring, and supervision of federal programs.

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Statehouse and Politics
5:45 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Branstad: Infrastructure a "Major Focus"

Governor Terry Branstad in his formal office at the Iowa Capitol. He will be sworn in for his sixth non-consecutive term as governor on Friday.
Credit John Pemble / IPR

Clay Masters: It's Morning Edition on Iowa Public Radio. I'm Clay Masters. Governor Terry Branstad delivers his condition of the state speech this morning where he'll lay out his priorities in 2015. We sat down with the governor in his formal office at this capitol yesterday to get a bit of a preview. I start by asking the governor if this is the year a funding method will be approved to fix the state's deficent roads and bridges. 

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
3:53 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Iowa Supreme Court Gives Inmates More Control of Wages

Pews and other church furnishings are one of the products manufactured by inmates through the Iowa Prisons Industries program.
Iowa Prison Industries

The Iowa Supreme Court says inmates can increase payments for court-ordered restitution, even if the amount they pay to the Iowa Department of Corrections is reduced. 

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Business and Economy
5:44 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Iowa Biodiesel Production Drops Slightly in 2014

Biodiesel is produced from animal fats and vegetable oils, like soybean oil.
United Soybean Board

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association says Iowa produced 227 million gallons of biodiesel in 2014. 

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Statehouse and Politics
4:54 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Blum May Face Repercussions for Vote Against Speaker

Rod Blum (left) and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) speaking with small business owners at a business roundtable at MobileDemand in Hiawatha.
Gage Skidmore

Though Ohio Republican John Boehner won a third term as Speaker of the House, he does not have a friend in Iowa Congressman Rod Blum of Dubuque.

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Statehouse and Politics
11:25 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Grassley Assumes Senate Judiciary Chairmanship

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is the first non-lawyer to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Gage Skidmore

With the 114th Congress sworn in, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley takes the reins of the Senate Judiciary Committee as chairman.

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3:29 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Harkin Archive Moves In

Harkin Institute Director Marsha Ternus (right) and Political Papers Archivist Hope Grebner stand in front of approximately 800 boxes of Sen. Tom Harkin’s papers and archival materials. The boxes arrived from Harkin's Washington office this morning.
Sarah Boden/Iowa Public Radio

A semi-truck carrying approximately 800 boxes from retired U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin's Washington office arrived at Drake University today.  Inside are papers and other archival materials—photos, video, mementos—that will now call the Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement "home."

The boxes chronicle Harkin's four-decade-long congressional career.  The Cumming native served 10 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, and 30 years in the Senate. 

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
1:15 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Traffic Fatalities Slightly Higher in 2014

A crashed vehicle on the side of I80 in Iowa.

The Iowa Department of Transportation is reporting 321 traffic related deaths in 2014, or four more than last year.

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