Sarah Boden

Reporter

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.

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

That’s according to the 2013 Iowa Kids Count report. The annual study released by the Des Moines-based Child and Family Policy Center charts trends in child wellbeing in the state of Iowa.

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.  

The campus will be renamed the Regional Regents Center. It's located two miles from the Des Moines airport and is comprised of 17 buildings, including apartment-style student housing. 

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.

Many school districts in rural Iowa cover a large geographic area, so a sizable portion of general operating budgets is spent on busing at the expense of other expenditures like text books and teacher salaries. Enabling school boards to raise property or income taxes to address transportation costs would allow districts more budgeting leeway. 

USDA/Anson Eaglin

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

Currently the Department of Agriculture oversees meat, poultry and egg production, while the Food and Drug Administration handles most other foods including produce and fish. U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley says though, in theory, he supports consolidating federal responsibilities to one department, he prefers food inspection to stay under the purview of the USDA. 

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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. But the issue of abortion is still hotly debated.  

Standing in an exam room I’m waiting to meet with Dr. Jill Meadows, a Planned Parenthood of the Heartland physician based in Iowa City. I’m in Des Moines, but really I could be at any of nine Planned Parenthood clinics in Iowa because I’ll be speaking with Meadows using a two-way video conference.

cwwycoff1/Flickr

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

Young of Iowa

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

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.    

John Pemble

Chief Justice Mark Cady of the Iowa Supreme Court says Iowa’s criminal justice system is marked by racial disparities. In his State of the Judiciary address today, Cady told legislators he wants that to change.

According to the 2010 Census, in Iowa 9.4 percent of adult African American men are incarcerated. That's the third highest percentage of incarcerated African American men in the nation.

Skidmore/Flickr

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.

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. 

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. 

United Soybean Board

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

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.

Gage Skidmore

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

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. 

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

Wikipedia/Dmg ie

A former Des Moines police officer, who was convicted in 2012 of using excessive force, has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of not returning to prison.

hc.saustrup

While the holidays may be called the most joyful time of the year, many people simply find them to be the most stressful.

Dale Calder

Urbandale’s Continental Western and other investors in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren't receiving dividend checks since all profits from the mortgage lenders are being turned over to the U.S. Treasury. 

DerekA

Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday, only individual homeowners are protected under the Warranty of Workmanlike Construction, which holds builder venders accountable for shoddy workmanship.

John Pemble

Retiring Sen. Tom Harkin delivered his Farewell speech on the Senate floor today.  He is retiring after 40 years in Congress.

Bart & Co

Education for low-income children in Des Moines is receiving more than $1.1 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Comissão de Educação, Cultura e Esporte

One of the two laureates receiving the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in children’s rights was nominated by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin.

Brooke Raymond

Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley says the Senate will soon vote on the long-delayed tax extenders bill. The legislation groups more than 50 tax breaks, including wind energy incentives.

Because Iowa is a leader in wind energy production, Grassley has been vocal on the need to extend the tax credits. But Grassley says the bill doesn’t go far enough.

John Marvig

A proposal to modify the Clean Water Act from the Environmental Protection Agency will face stiff opposition come January, says U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley.  That’s when both the House and the Senate will be held by the GOP.

Grassley and other Republicans have spoken harshly against the Waters of the U.S. rule, which would increase federal oversight of U.S. waterways.

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