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.

Ways to Connect

Julie Stevens

A student landscape architecture project at Iowa State University is being recognized by a national organization for working to make the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women a more humane and therapeutic environment.

The American Society of Landscape Architects has given the ISU project a Community Service Award of Excellence for creating outdoor classrooms using native Iowa limestone and prairie plants, and a decompression deck for staff at the women’s prison in Mitchellville.

Flickr / Loren Kerns

Iowa’s deputy state epidemiologist says people should start thinking about getting vaccinated against the flu. 

Dr. Ann Garvey says this is the best way to avoid getting sick and prevent transmission, even in years when the vaccine is less effective. Last year the virus changed after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed the 2014-2015 vaccine, which made it less effective.

Flickr / dawgfanjeff

People near Iowa City planning to watch tonight’s super-lunar eclipse, are invited to the roof of Van Allen Hall at the University of Iowa. A group of UI astronomers is holding a public viewing of the phenomena which occurs once perhaps only two or three decades.

Sculpt Siouxland

Someone has stolen a bronze statue from downtown Sioux City. The city’s Art Center discovered "Goddess of the Grapes" was gone on Tuesday from it's 4th Street location, after doing an inventory of all the public art sculptures it maintains.

The roughly 20-inch statue depicts a young woman holding grapes, standing on her toes and reaching towards the sky. "Goddess of the Grapes" is owned by the nonprofit Sculpt Siouxland and maintained by the Sioux City Art Center.

Iowa Public Radio / Sarah Boden

Democratic State Sen. Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids kicked off his campaign for U.S. Senate at a city park in Callender Tuesday morning.

Hogg hopes to challenge Sen. Chuck Grassley. The Republican is seeking his seventh term in the Senate. 

It was a low key event. Hogg spoke to about a half dozen people and described himself as an “underdog.”

Iowa Public Radio / John Pemble

State Sen. Rob Hogg is announcing his bid for the U.S. Senate, tomorrow in his grandmother's hometown of Callendar, located in Webster County. The Cedar Rapids Democrat will challenge Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, who has held his seat since 1981.

Hogg says he is not worried about running a financially competitive campaign against the incumbent, though he says the nation needs campaign finance reform.

John Pemble/IPR file

On Mother’s Day 2012, 17-year-old Isaiah Sweet of Manchester put on earmuffs, loaded ten bullets into an assault rifle, and shot his grandparents in the head. He was later sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

Thursday, the Iowa Supreme Court was asked if that’s ever an appropriate sentence for a juvenile in Iowa.

Iowa Public Radio / Sarah Boden

Though the tone in Washington maybe polarizing, college students in Des Moines from different sides of the aisle can still break bread...or share a pizza. 

About 65 students attended a pizza watch party of the CNN Republican Debate at Drake's Harvey Ingham Hall. The event was cohosted by the Drake College Republicans and Drake University Democrats.

"Our main focus is just to show that we can work together," says senior Bri Steirer, president of Drake Democrats. "I just love politics, so I obviously was going to watch...But we figured we'd make it a joint event. Why not?"

Iowa Public Radio / John Pemble

Wednesday is the first day of the Iowa Supreme Court's 2015-2016 session. The high court will hear five cases, including one questioning when someone should be given the Miranda Warning, which is the right to remain silent when in police custody and the right to legal counsel. 

Zyriah Schlitter was found guilty in 2012 of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment resulting in the death of his 17-month-old daughter Kamryn. During his trial, Schlitter made statements that conflicted with a taped interview conducted by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. 

Wikimedia Commons / Quadell

New research from the University of Iowa may one day lead to new therapies for those afflicted with Type-2 diabetes. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent reports the disease is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S.  High blood sugar levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes cause series health problems like heart disease, kidney failure, stroke, and blindness.

City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation

Iowans looking to remember the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks can take a walk around Gray’s Lake in Des Moines. In the fourth year of the collaboration, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, iHeartMedia and the United States Air Force have created a “Tribute Trail” of approximately 2,977 American flags.

"Each [flag] honors one victim lost at the 9/11 attacks," says Jen Fletcher of Des Moines’s Parks and Recreation. "It's a very stunning visual...It's a place that people can go and just have a moment to honor those people that were lost that day."

John Pemple/IPR file photo

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley was one of the Republicans who spoke out against the Iran Nuclear Agreement on the Senate floor Thursday. Iowa’s senior senator says the agreement threatens the security of the U.S., Israel and other western European allies, as it doesn’t go far enough to limit Iran’s access to nuclear capability.

One of Grassley’s complaints is that the deal makes international inspectors wait up to 24 days before having access to certain sites. Grassley says Iran will use this time to “hide prohibited activities.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Soon across Iowa, the Midwest, and parts of the west and south, it will be more convenient for drivers to fill their tanks with ethanol-blended gasoline. The USDA is providing $100 million in matching grants to 21 states, to expand the number of pumps that can dispense gasoline with higher blends of the bio fuel.

Flickr / SD Dirk

Both Iowa State University and the University of Iowa report record-breaking enrollment for their freshmen classes. 6,231 first-year Cyclones and 5,241 Hawkeyes are registered for the 2015 fall semester.

Iowa Public Radio / John Pemble

Iowa’s auditor of state says revenues for Iowa are strong and growing, but that there is also room for improvement. After completing her assessment of the state budget for fiscal year 2016, Mary Mosiman says it’s not wise to use carryover surplus money to create a balanced budget, as lawmakers have done this year.

Flickr / Tania Cataldo

Last year 392 Iowans died by suicide, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the state.

Monday marks the start of National Suicide Prevention Week. Since many people know someone who has taken their own life, Pat McGovern of the Iowa Department of Public Health says this tragedy is a public health issue.

"One risk with suicide is something called contagion," says McGovern. "[If] someone in your social circle or your near community dies by suicide, it puts others at more risk." 

John Pemble/IPR file

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says his growing popularity among Democratic voters is a result of their disgust with the campaign finance system and corporate greed. 

While stumping in front of a crowd of at least 700 people Thursday afternoon in Grinnell, Sanders says one of the ways his campaign is different from others is that he’s one of the few candidates without the backing of a Super Pac.

General Dynamics Electric Boat / U.S. Navy

There is a new USS Iowa. The Virginia-class nuclear-power fast-attack submarine was named Wednesday afternoon at Iowa State University’s Memorial Union.  It is the third naval vessel to have this name.

Flickr / David Wade Couch

The Iowa bicycling community will be closely watching a court trial in Benton County tomorrow. Cyclist Matt Phippen was biking on a country road back in March. He says the driver of a white Dodge pickup truck passed him in an aggressively close manner.

Steven Payne, the driver of the pickup, was fined for the incident. He refuses to pay the $270 in fees and therefore is headed to court. 

Flickr / Jimmy Emerson, DVM

The state of Iowa has completed an audit of the City of Casey, after a probable arson destroyed many of the town's financial records in August last year, the night before state auditors were scheduled to visit. Auditor of State Mary Mosiman says nearly $300,000 was misspent in Casey from July 2008 to October 2014. 

MorphoTrust USA

Iowa is the first state to test out mobile driver’s licenses. The Iowa Department of Transportation has rolled out a pilot program that allows users to pull up the ID on their smartphones.

Up to 100 Iowa DOT employees are testing out the new software, produced by MorphoTrust USA. The biometrics and identity technology company is headquartered in Billerica, MA. 

At the moment, the digital licenses are only compatible with newer iPhones. Eventually the application will be formatted for other smartphones.

Iowa Public Radio / Sarah Boden

Gov. Terry Branstad is now the owner of 1,000 rubber ducks.

The liberal advocacy group Progress Iowa gave Branstad the bath toys to protest his vetoing of one-time education funding and the closing of two mental health institutions. At the same time, Branstad has worked with private donors to build a reflecting pool at Terrace Hill, the governor’s official residence.

Boston Police Department

Two Iowa men are being held without bail in Boston, pending a dangerousness hearing on September 1. Boston Police say 18-year-old Kevin Norton of Ames and 27-year-old James Stumbo of Boone drove more than 20 hours to the Pokémon World Championships in Boston.

The two were arrested late Friday night after a search of the men’s vehicle turned up guns, several hundred rounds of ammunition, and a hunting knife.

Iowa Public Radio / Sarah Boden

Ten people were honored today at the Governor’s Lifesaving Awards Ceremony at the Iowa State Fair.

Perhaps the most harrowing story amongst the awardees belonged to Jackson County Board Supervisor Larry Koos. On September 9, 2014 a disgruntled resident pulled a gun at a Board of Supervisors meeting.

Francis Glaser was upset about an ongoing disagreement with the county over property taxes.

United States Geological Survey

After a closed session meeting, the Iowa Public Information Board voted to wait until at least September to decide whether to release material related to the police shooting death of a Burlington woman.

In early January, Burlington police officer Jesse Hill accidentally killed 34-year-old Autumn Steele when answering a domestic violence call.

Steele’s dog attacked Hill. He fired his weapon attempting to hit the animal. But instead Officer Hill fatally shot Steele in the chest.

Phil Roeder / Flickr

My hometown is Des Moines, an underrated city with cheap rent, cheaper booze and a trippy sculpture garden. I like Des Moines, though it’s a place that’s easy to dismiss.

Flickr / David Wilson

Enrollment in Denison community schools will likely drop this year, which means a potential loss of tens of thousands of dollars in state funding. 

On Friday, Crawford County’s second largest employer announced layoffs of 400 workers. Tyson Foods says it will "permanently cease" beef production at its Denison plant due to a "continued lack of available cattle." 

Iowa Public Radio / Joyce Russell

Democrat Jim Mowrer is running for Congress again, but this time in Iowa’s Third Congressional District. He resigned from his position as vice-chair of the Iowa Democratic Party this morning.

Last year, the Iraq War Veteran and father of two sons unsuccessfully tried to unseat Fourth District Congressman Steve King. King captured nearly 62-percent of the vote.

Since that time Mowrer relocated from Boone to Des Moines. He has one primary challenger, Clive businessman Desmund Adams.

They both hope to defeat freshman Republican Congressman David Young. 

Clay Masters / IPR

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump made a campaign stop at the Iowa State Fair Saturday. Trump passed on a popular state fair candidate event and instead gave kids a ride on his helicopter before walking around the fairState Fair officials told Donald Trump he could not land his helicopter on the Iowa State fairgrounds, so he did it less than a mile away and flew kids over the fair. He also spoke to reporters and says his brain has built a great business and will be good for the country.

John Pemble/IPR file

It was more than 90 degrees at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday. Luckily for the presidential candidates stumping at the Des Moines Register's Soapbox in long-sleeved dress shirts, there was also a slight breeze.

The first speaker of the day was former Sen. Rick Santorum. The Pennsylvania Republican told a crowd of roughly 150-200 people that he was the only presidential candidate who was on the Islamic State's enemy list.

Pages