Sarah Boden

Reporter

Sarah Boden is a Des Moines-based reporter for Iowa Public Radio. 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 On The Media. 

Ways to Connect

FLICKR / JENNIFER MORROW

The State of Iowa is increasing the amount of money it pays to the three private companies managing Iowa’s Medicaid system by $33.2 million. Gov. Terry Branstad says the increase is largely due to pharmaceutical costs, which are higher than anticipated since April when the state privatized its Medicaid system. "We're dealing with healthcare costs," says Branstad. "It's not something that's going to be perfect." Despite the additional payments, the governor insists Iowa will still reap the ...

Flickr / Joe Hall

A Des Moines woman has been charged with Election Misconduct, a Class D felony, after allegedly voting twice for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. Terri Rote says she was afraid her first ballot for Trump would be changed to a vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. "I wasn't planning on doing it twice, it was a spur of the moment," says Rote.* "The polls are rigged." But Polk County Attorney John Sarcone says voter fraud in Iowa is very rare, which is evidence that Iowa’s...

Sarah Boden/IPR

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence returned to Iowa this afternoon, stumping at a rally at Central Iowa Community College in Fort Dodge. Before a crowd of approximately 300 people, Pence said Trump’s ability to give voice to the aspirations and frustrations of the American people is similar to that of President Ronald Reagan. Republican VP nominee went on to discuss plans for the first 100 days of a Trump administration. "We’re going to sign a moratorium on any new federal regulation on day one, and...

Iowa Public Television

Republican US Representative David Young and Democratic challenger Jim Mowrer debated for the second and final time Wednesday night in Council Bluffs. Both aim to represent southwest Iowa in Congress come January. One highlight of the evening was when Iowa Public Television moderators gave each candidate a chance to respond to a negative campaign ad produced by their opposition. The commercial from the Congressional Leadership Fund, a GOP Super PAC, features a female voice that claims, "Jim...

Sarah Boden/IPR

A new group is advocating for legislation to restore the voting rights of Iowa felons. The Coalition for Fair Restoration of Voting Rights comprises 17 groups, including the ACLU of Iowa, and the Iowa-Nebraska NAACP. The long-term goal is a constitutional amendment that ends felony disenfranchisement from the ballot box. But the coalition is also proposing legislation for the next session that allows people with less serious felonies to vote. “That standard is consistent with existing...

Jim Mowrer for Congress & Young for Iowa

Political watchers say the race in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District is one of the most competitive in the country. The incumbent, Republican David Young, has only served one term in Congress. And Democrats historically have larger turnouts during presidential election years. So Democrats says their candidate Jim Mowrer has a shot at turning this district blue. Despite these high stakes, in a debate last night on KMA Radio in Shenandoah, both candidates were civil. Mowrer did take shots at...

FLICKR / JIMMY EMERSON, DVM

The former city clerk of Casey, Iowa was sentenced on Friday to five years in prison for mail fraud and the arson of a community building. Dorothy Dillinger pled guilty to the offenses back in May. In her scheme to defraud the city of Casey, Dillinger used a city credit card to make personal purchases totaling more than $54,000 for purchases at vendors like WalMart, Target and an online dating website. In her guilty plea, Dillinger admitted to using the U.S. Postal Service to mail city checks...

Flickr / Katy Warner

A Muscatine woman argued at the Iowa Supreme Court that since the employment of immigrants is regulated by the federal government, she’s protected from state identity theft charges. How the high court rules has significant implications for Iowa's undocumented immigrant community. In 1997, 11-year-old Martha Martinez came to the US as an undocumented immigrant. In 2014 she was charged with using a fake identity to gain employment. Rita Bettis of the Iowa ACLU argues that Martinez can’t face...

Sarah Boden/IPR / Iowa Public Radio

Gov. Terry Branstad said on Monday morning that he has “great confidence” Iowa’s Secretary of State, county auditors and poll watchers will make sure the upcoming election is “honest and clean.” But when asked about GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeting that Republican leaders deny that there’s “large scale voter fraud,” the governor pivoted to discussing what he perceives as a media bias against his party’s nominee. “The integrity of our electoral process is critically important,...

Sarah Boden/IPR

More than a dozen contracts were signed today in downtown Des Moines between Chinese food companies and U.S. soybean producers. The signatures cement the purchase of $2.1 billion worth of soybeans, which will go to feeding Chinese livestock. Iowa is currently the top U.S. producer of soybeans. Gov. Terry Branstad says the state’s relationship with China is very important, since the country is the world's largest soybean consumer. "Right now we’re faced with depressed commodity prices so the...

Jon Pemble/IPR file

The heads of both Iowa’s Republican and Democratic parties say they’re not concerned about party unity. That’s in spite of the fact both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the least-liked presidential candidates in the history of U.S. polling. On the Republican side of the aisle, scores of prominent GOPers are refusing to support or defend Trump. This include several Iowa state lawmakers. But chair Jeff Kaufmann says some of these un-endorsements are politically motivated. “I’ve always...

FLICKR / THEUPSSTOREHUNTINGTONBEACH

Three California women suspected of attempting to scam Iowa libraries and businesses are now barred from operating in Iowa. If Brittany Hertsch, her half-sister Krystle Lester or their aunt Sandra Steinmetz are found to be marketing copier or printer toner, office supplies or other merchandise in Iowa they could face criminal charges. Hertsch heads Central Supply Solutions, Lester run Elite Supplies, and Steinmetz owns Central Supply Center. They are accused of billing Iowa offices for...

Real Clear Politics

GOP vice presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana stumped on Tuesday at the Des Moines Area Community College in Newton. The visit comes less than a week after a tape surfaced of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women. Pence says he was “offended” by Trump’s comments, and even canceled a campaign event over the weekend. But Pence told supporters in Newton that Trump's apology shows humility, and adds that next month’s election isn’t so...

Flickr / GAGE SKIDMORE

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is showing no sign of pulling his support from Donald Trump. That's in spite of the fact that dozens of Republican governors, congressional representatives and senators have rescinded their endorsements of the GOP presidential nominee or said he should step down. Many of these un-endorsements came Friday and Saturday, after a video tape from 2005 surfaced. On the recording Trump brags to Billy Bush, then a co-host for Access Hollywood, about being able to sexually...

Steve Evans/Wikimedia Commons

Nearly 1000 refugees have been resettled in Iowa this year. Director of Admissions for the U.S. State Department Larry Bartlett says while these new Iowans come from all over the world, the one thing they have in common is that they were forced to leave their homes. “They fled because they’ve been persecuted, sometimes because their own government. Sometimes by others,” Bartlett says. “But the common story in a refugee’s life is that they’ve forced to leave home, they’ve been forced to leave...

Flickr / Johnny_Spasm

A post office in Des Moines has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after two employees developed heat-related illnesses while delivering mail this summer. In one incident a mail carrier ended up in the emergency room, and in another case, a carrier became so sick she was home from work, recovering for three days. OSHA says the supervisor of the latter employee had initially told the carrier to keep delivering mail on her 11-mile route in 93-degree heat, despite...

JOHN PEMBLE/IPR FILE

A conference call with reporters was unable to clear up why Sen. Chuck Grassley withdrew from a debate on Iowa Public Television. The Republican incumbent was slated to go head-to-head with Democratic challenger Patty Judge on October 20 th . But last week his campaign cited unspecified complaints about the IPTV format as the reason for canceling. When asked what specifically was wrong with the format Grassley directed reporters to contact his campaign staff. "There's been a lot of discussion...

Flickr / Alpha

Gov. Terry Branstad is slated for a trade mission Japan and China next month to promote Iowa beef and pork products. Representatives of both industries, who will travel with the governor, say the two Asian countries present significant economic opportunities. "This trade mission comes at a critical time for Iowa pork producers," says Al Wulfekuhle,a pig farmer in Buchanan County and the president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association. "We’re facing tough economic times. We have prices below...

Sarah Boden/IPR

The Cedar River is now below the “major flood stage” level in Cedar Rapids. The city is breathing a sigh of relief as it recovers from the second-worst flood in its history. Public Works Director Jen Winter reports that Cedar Rapids is recovering "very quickly," and crews have begun to remove flood barriers near the city's bridges. The entire evacuation zone will reopen at 7:00 am Saturday morning. City Manager Jeff Pomeranz attributes the relative lack of damage to the commitment of and...

Dean Borg/IPR File

The lessons learned from the historic flood of 2008 are helping Iowa mitigate damage from this year’s flooding in northern and eastern parts of the state. Jeff Olson is the Public Safety Director for the City of Cedar Falls. On Wednesday's Talk of Iowa, Olson told host Charity Nebbe the city recorded its second-highest water levels in this year's flooding. After the 2008 flood, the city wrote a plan that Olson says, "tells us exactly what we need to do," when the Cedar River peaks. "We have a...

Flickr / reader of the pack

If it’s not safe for people to be at home due to flooding, then it’s also not safe for pets. That’s why Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control is sheltering four-legged companions who can’t accompany the humans who are evacuating their homes. Animal Care and Control Program Manager Diane Webber says the agency’s old building was completely flooded in 2008. The city agency's new facility is designed to accommodate more animals during times of crisis. "All the cages were done in such a way that...

Iowa Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management

Despite the flooding of several rivers in eastern Iowa, all of Iowa’s interstate highways are open. So far only secondary roads have flooded, but that may change later this week. As water flows down river, the Iowa Department of Transportation is keeping a close eye on Interstate 80. This highway crosses Iowa, and the country, east-to-west. "We won't know until probably first thing Wednesday morning," says Iowa DOT Director Paul Trombino. "The water tends to move into the ditches along the...

Flickr / Memphis CVB

Currently 50,000 Latinos in Iowa are registered to vote, according to Iowa’s League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). The organization is intensifying voter outreach in Iowa, as it wants to increase Latino registration by as many as 10,000 people. LULAC is attending all Latino festivals in Iowa, including one this weekend in Des Moines. It's also holding community events this month and in early October. Joe Henry of Des Moines is LULAC's National Vice President of the Midwest. He...

Sarah Boden/IPR File

Legal challenges so far have not been an effective tool in the fight to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Iowa. But pipeline opponents say they have a new strategy. The plan is for teams of about five protesters to deploy all along the pipeline route to block equipment and vehicles. Ed Fallon of Bold Iowa says these groups are called Bold Action Teams, or BATs. A BAT will function autonomously, deciding as a group when to peacefully demonstrate. Right now only 30 or so people...

Sarah Boden/IPR File

A staffer from Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign is headed to prison for his role in a conspiracy that falsified Federal Election Commission reports. Unlike his two co-defendants who only got probation, Dimitri Kesari will serve three months behind bars. At the sentencing hearing, federal Judge John Jarvey described Ron Paul's former deputy campaign manager as the scheme's "architect.” He noted that Kesari went to considerable lengths to conceal payments to a state senator in exchange for...

Sarah Boden/IPR

Two staffers from Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign were sentenced Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Des Moines. Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton and Campaign Manger John Tate will each serve two years of probation and pay a $10,000 fine. In May the men and a third staffer, Deputy Campaign Manger Demitri Kesari, were convicted of conspiring to create and submit false campaign finance reports to the Federal Election Commission. Tate, Benton and their wives appeared emotional and relieved...

Sarah Boden/IPR

While stumping this afternoon in Mason City, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence told supporters, “It was a weekend of terrorist attacks." The Republican vice presidential nominee was referencing bombs planted in New York and New Jersey, and the stabbing attack at a Minnesota mall. While addressing roughly 300 people at Music Man Square, Pence said America needs a president who knows the country is at war with what he calls “radical Islamic terrorism.” "History teaches us that weakness arouses evil,"...

WIKICOMMONS / Gage Skidmore & U.S. Congress

The Vice Presidential nominees for both major parties -- Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Democratic Virginia Senator Tim Kaine -- are in Iowa this afternoon. During the caucuses, Iowa gets plenty of attention, but high profile visits are less common during the general election. Donna Hoffman heads the Political Science Department at the University of Northern Iowa. She says because Iowa is a swing state, it’s still playing an important role in the presidential contest. "[This is an]...

AMY MAYER/IPR FILE PHOTO

The City of Des Moines’s water utility is trying to sue 10 drainage districts in northwest Iowa in federal court, accusing the districts of polluting the Raccoon River. But first, Des Moines Water Works must convince the state Supreme Court that drainage districts can be held liable. The drainage districts assert that for over a century, the Iowa Supreme Court has held that they can’t be sued for a civil wrong due to their limited authority. Attorney Michael Reck told the court during oral...

CLAY MASTERS/IPR FILE

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and the Iowa Corn Growers Association are offering to pay the legal costs in a lawsuit that names three northwest Iowa counties. Des Moines Water Works alleges that farm runoff from drainage districts in Buena Vista, Calhoun and Sac Counties has caused exceedingly high nitrate levels in the city's water supply. Craig Hill is president of the Farm Bureau. He says the counties have been unfairly singled out in the Water Works lawsuit. "It is a statewide problem....

Pages