Dean Borg

Correspondent

Dean Borg is an Iowa City based correspondent for Iowa Public Radio. He joined IPR in 2000, but his broadcast news career began at WOI Radio as an Iowa State University student.  Later in Cedar Rapids, he led a 32-person news, sports, weather and farm radio and television staff for The WMT Stations. His experience includes daily coverage of the Iowa General Assembly, news and documentary reports from South Vietnam and the Paris Peace Talks, moderating nationally televised presidential candidate debates, and interviewing every President since John F. Kennedy.

He holds journalism and political science degrees from Iowa State and The University of Iowa. ISU conferred its Distinguished Achievement Citation to him, the highest award given to alumni.  He is also the winner of lifetime achievement awards from The Iowa Broadcast News Association and the Northwest Broadcast News Association.

Dean's favorite public radio program is Car Talk.

Ways to Connect

Iowa Board of Regents

The Iowa Board of Regents has selected Mark Nook to be the 11th president of the University of Northern Iowa. Nook is a native of Holstein, and received his undergraduate degree from Iowa State. Since 2014, he has been the chancellor of Montana State University-Billings, which has a student body about one-third the size of UNI’s 12,000 student population. “This is a university that’s done amazing work,” Nook said as he addressed a gathering after the regents’ vote. “You’ve taken an orphanage...

Michael Leland/IPR

Sunny, dry weather is speeding Iowa’s corn and soybean harvest that has been running up to a week behind the traditional pace. That’s especially true in North Iowa where persistent, heavy rains are leaving standing water in grain fields. “The last three days, the ground has really straightened up quite a little,” says Randy Broesder, who manages elevators in Forest City and nearby Kiester, Minn. “We’ve went back after some beans this weekend. So, I’d say today beans are 98 percent done. Corn,...

Michael Leland/IPR

Iowa’s corn and soybean harvest continues behind last year, and the five-year average. Today’s USDA update says statewide, 71-percent of the corn crop is harvested. Central and southeast Iowa harvest work is a bit more advanced. In Eastern Iowa, Randy Toenjes blames wet fields and too much corn, too fast. “We have about 250-acres yet to harvest,” says Toenjes, who farms about 1400 acres near Monticello. “We’re out of space right now. The bins are full and we’re waiting for those to get moved...

John Pemble / IPR file photo

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate is expecting early voting totals to be about the same as in past presidential elections, about 43-percent of Iowans voting before Election Day. But Pate says he’s especially interested in the turn-out and voting preferences of millennial voters. “I think both parties are going to have their traditional base come out and vote,” Pate said during a taping of Iowa Public TV’s Iowa Press. “The ones who are going to decide the future the millennials, specifically...

Dean Borg/IPR

The Iowa Board of Regents has authorized an extensive audit of the use of ISU-owned aircraft. The board opened its meeting in Cedar Falls today by receiving a preliminary audit report of the three state universities’ travel policies. The Board’s audit committee chairman, Marshalltown attorney Larry McKibben, submitted a motion for expanding the audit. Board president Bruce Rastetter said in the interest of openness and transparency, the audit should cover each individual flight ISU Flight...

Michael Leland/IPR

Farmers in northeast Iowa are destroying several thousand acres of corn and soybeans in fields flooded by torrential September rains. Most of the corn and soybeans in those fields will be destroyed this fall to prevent the seeds from sprouting next spring. Brian Lang, a Decorah-based Iowa State University Extension Agronomist, estimates ten-thousand crop acres were under water a month ago. “And of this ten-thousand acres there’s probably a few thousand of that that are still going to be...

Michael Leland/IPR

Muddy fields are slowing Iowa’s corn and soybean harvest. The U-S-D-A’s weekly crop update says 94-percent of the corn acreage is mature. That’s three days head of average for this date. Corn harvest is a week behind average, with only 19-percent out of the field. In Winnebago County, where rain during this crop year is nearly double the normal amount, rivers and drainage ditches are overflowing and not allowing field tile to drain cropland. “Our drainage ditches are full up to the top, so...

Michael Leland/IPR

Warmer and drier weather during the past week is allowing grain harvesting equipment back in Iowa’s corn and soybean fields. But today’s USDA progress update says many farmers are encountering muddy fields and some standing water. Ten percent of Iowa’s corn acreage has been harvested. That’s about the same as last year, but nine days behind the five-year average for the first week in October. In Linn County, Brad Stoner is among those just beginning today at his farm near Marion. “Thirty...

Dean Borg/IPR

The Cedar River crested in downtown Cedar Rapids this morning, a foot lower than predicted but still 10 feet above flood stage. The river level was at 22 feet late this morning, and will begin slowly falling by late today. “It’s not over,” said City Manager Jeff Pomeranz at a news conference this morning. City officials are monitoring nearly 10 miles of temporary, sand-filled Hesco barriers and earthen levees, looking for weak spots and for possible breaches. “We’re very confident this...

Photo courtesy Brandon Pollock, Waterloo Courier

Updated at 10:15pm Thursday. Sandbagging continues in communities along the Shell Rock and Cedar Rivers in northeast Iowa after portions of Butler and Floyd county were hit with as much as a foot of rain last night. To the southeast, people in Cedar Rapids have begun building sandbag levees to protect an area devastated in 2008. In Butler County, Sheriff Jason Johnson says volunteers who want to assist with cleanup are welcome, but sightseers are not. “Up here in Greene about 80 homes are...

Dean Borg/IPR

Results from a sexual violence survey of University of Iowa students are guiding administrators in strengthening an anti-violence plan for the Iowa City campus. Although fewer than ten-percent of the UI’s enrollment responded to the Speak Out Iowa survey in Fall, 2015, administrators say they’re using the results to engage the campus community in creating a safer environment. Of the 2,683 students responding to the survey—mostly women---21 percent of the undergraduate women reported being...

Dean Borg/IPR

Linn County’s minimum wage increases to $8.25 an hour on January 1, and a dollar-an-hour more on each of the following two New Year’s Days. But municipalities may not follow, including Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s second-largest city. On a 4-1 vote, Linn’s Board of Supervisors approved the third reading of the ordinance incrementally raising the wage floor to three dollars above current Iowa law by 2019. Linn joins Johnson County in enacting a county ordinance exceeding state law. Wapello, Lee and...

Dean Borg/IPR

Fall enrollment at Iowa State University’s is up 1.9 percent over last fall’s record. With 36,660 students this year, ISU is again the largest of the state’s three public universities. The University of Iowa is reporting enrollment of 33,334 this fall, also up from last year’s figure. At the University of Northern Iowa, total enrollment for the fall semester at 11,905 -- 95 short of its goal of 12,000 students. This includes 2,000 freshmen, the largest UNI freshman class since 2008....

Iowa Women's Archives, Shirley Briggs Papers

The University of Iowa is proposing naming a new residence hall in honor of an African American graduate who couldn’t live in the dorms because she is black. Elizabeth Catlett received a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the UI in 1940. While attending as a graduate student, Catlett lived off campus. The UI’s dormitories weren’t open to African American students until Betty Jean Arnett desegregated Currier Hall in 1945. Catlett went on to be a renowned artist, and now supports a scholarship...

Linn County supervisors have approved the first reading of an ordinance raising the minimum wage above state law. It’s an action that involves Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s second-largest city. Linn’s ordinance hikes the wage minimum by a dollar an hour to $8.25 on January 1, 2017. There would also be increased on the two following New Year’s Days, to $10.25 in 2019. Supervisor John Harris objected to the built-in future increases, and voted no. Linn County Auditor Joel Miller chided the supervisors...

Dean Borg/IPR

Republican Vice-presidential nominee, Mike Pence, was on the attack during a Monday rally in Cedar Rapids. “Hillary Clinton should shut down the Clinton Foundation right now,” Pence told a crowd of about 200 people. “How in the world can they say they will shut down the Clinton Foundation if she’s elected President of the United States?” Pence portrayed that as allowing “foreign contributors and major corporations to make down payments on access to the Clinton Administration.” Continuing the...

Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

Iowa’s corn and soybean crops are moving into final maturity with most of the acreage listed in good-to-excellent condition. Today’s report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture has both crops listed as 83 percent good to excellent. In North Iowa’s Winnebago County, farmer Riley Lewis is anticipating a big harvest. “I’d say in the forty-five years…it’s got to rank with one of the best,” he says. “Especially with the weather-wise, and the crop size that’s going to be coming out. With the new...

Iowa Dept of Transportation

The Ames Cy-Ride bus driver who had been accused of hit-and-run in the death of an Iowa State University student is pleading guilty to a lesser charge. Twenty-three year old Benjamin Clague of Gilbert is admitting he failed to report an accident. That’s a simple misdemeanor. Prosecution and defense attorneys are agreeing to recommend a 30-day jail sentence and a one-hundred-dollar fine. Clague was driving a Cy-Ride bus just after seven o’clock in the morning last December 14th, and was making...

U.S. Drought Monitor

Iowa’s corn and soybean crops are, for the most part, benefiting from summer heat and timely rains. Monday’s USDA weekly crop update says statewide corn maturity is five-days ahead of last year, and nearly two-weeks ahead of average. More than a third of the corn acreage is at the dough-stage of maturity. Iowa State University agronomist, Paul Kassel, is based in Spencer, and monitors corn and soybeans in ten northwest and north-central counties. “The corn is well into the milk stage,” he...

Disney ABC Television Group / Flickr

Dianne Bystrom, an Iowa State University researcher who has been studying Hillary Clinton for more than 20-years, says the Democratic presidential candidate must walk a fine line in Thursday night’s acceptance speech. “C ertainly she must come across that she can be commander-in-chief. That she’s got that experience as Secretary of State. But I think this time around-- One of the things she avoided doing in two-thousand-eight that she seems more amenable to this year is talking about herself...

Dean Borg/IPR

Regents President Bruce Rastetter says the board wants the universities to develop two-year budgets, hoping the Iowa legislators will reciprocate with more appropriation predictability. “And that’s what we’ve asked the universities to think about in terms of their needs so we can be more forward looking for parents and their students on what tuition may look like over the course of two and three years out rather than just year by year,” he said. Rastetter also said Iowa State President Steven...

Dean Borg / IPR

Powerful winds swept through Eastern Iowa in Sunday morning’s predawn darkness, collapsing a house on four people in Walford and ripping the roof from a Vinton apartment building. Linn County sheriff’s deputies, responding to emergency calls, found Brett Gioimo, 27, trapped inside a pile of rubble that had been his home. He was transported to a hospital. Ashlee Shill, 28, and two children aged three and four years old were also in the house when it collapsed, but were not injured. Sunday...

Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

The USDA’s latest update of Iowa crop shows the state with areas of “haves” and “have-nots”. Despite abundant rains with water standing in some north Iowa fields, the USDA says topsoil moisture is short-to-very-short in nearly a quarter of the state. But 76 percent of the state has adequate-to-surplus top soil moisture. “I think we’re really dependent on timely rains still,” says Iowa State University Extension Agronomist Megan Anderson, who monitors 10 counties from Independence to...

Linn County’s Board of Supervisors wants more information before deciding whether to raise the minimum wage in Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities. That’s after the supervisors study committee recommended $8.25-an-hour, a dollar more than state law requires, but a dollar less than neighboring Johnson County. Cedar Rapids mayor, Republican Ron Corbett, says the committee’s $8.25 recommendation is palatable, but warned that delays invited power struggles. But supervisors chairman, Democrat...

Southern Iowa Gets Drier

Jun 27, 2016
U.S. Drought Monitor

Farm fields in central and southeast Iowa remain abnormally dry. Despite weekend rainfalls totaling two-to-three inches in eastern Iowa near Cedar Rapids, some of the state’s driest areas got only about a half-inch. Iowa State University Regional Agronomist Megan Anderson’s monitors a 10-county region from Independence to Washington. That part of Iowa includes counties the National Drought Monitor has listed as abnormally dry or in moderate drought. She says things are “precarious”. “Corn...

There’s rarely seen public animosity within Iowa’s congressional delegation. 2nd District Congressman David Loebsack, the only Democrat in the delegation, is calling 4th District Republican Congressman Steve King an “embarrassment to Iowa”. It concerns King’s statements after introducing an amendment that would block plans for replacing former President Andrew Jackson’s image on the $20 bill with one of African American civil rights activist Harriet Tubman. Although the House Rules Committee...

A Linn County study commission is recommending increasing the county’s minimum wage to $8.25 an hour by January 1st. The county board of supervisors convened the study commission. Linn Supervisors chairman Ben Rogers says he’ll take the commission’s recommendation to the supervisors’ meeting tomorrow. The study commission supports Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett’s motion for increasing Linn County’s minimum wage. Corbett says it’s needed to help workers and to prod Iowa legislators. “I don’t...

U.S. Drought Monitor

While northwest and north Iowa farm fields are struggling with too much rain, a good share of southeast Iowa is too dry. The USDA’s weekly update Monday afternoon lists more than 50-percent of south-central and southeast Iowa short to very short of top-soil moisture. “Essentially the further south you go, the most severe it is,” says Muscatine-based Iowa State University agronomist Virgil Schmidt, who monitors an area from Dubuque and Manchester to the Missouri border. “The National Weather...

Tuesday’s primary elections set the stage for two of the nation’s most competitive congressional campaigns. In Eastern Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, Cedar Rapids Democrat Monica Vernon seeks to replace first-term Republican Rod Blum of Dubuque. University of Northern Iowa political scientist Donna Hoffman says Vernon’s success depends voter turn-out. “The First District of Iowa is the most Democratic-leaning district,” she said Wednesday, on Iowa Public Radio’s River to River program. ...

Joyce Russell/IPR file photo

An Iowa Republican State Senator is using this primary election day to change his political party affiliation, protesting the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump. Northwest Iowa legislator David Johnson of Ocheyedan, who has served 18-years in Iowa’s legislature, issued a blistering statement after changing his voter registration to “no party.” Senator Johnson’s statement says “mark me down as never Trump, and at the same time, never Clinton”. He calls Trump’s statements...

Pages