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.

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Flickr / Jim Best

A new paper from the University of Iowa has found that parents tend to talk to sons and daughters differently after an injury.

Research shows boys are more prone to injury than girls. Elizabeth O’Neal, a Ph.D. candidate at UI’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, says a contributing factor could be the way children are socialized after an injury.

Wikimedia Creative Commons / Gage Skidmore

Former State Sen. Kent Sorenson continued his testimony Friday afternoon in the trial of two former staffers from Ron Paul’s 2012 Presidential campaign. Dimitrios Kesari and Jesse Benton, who is married to Paul's granddaughter, are accused of conspiracy and lying to the FBI respectively.

Flickr / Ken Lund

The Iowa Supreme Court heard a case yesterday that could result in a powerful blow to open meetings regulations in the state of Iowa. 

The Warren County Board of Supervisors laid-off twelve county employees in March 2014. Instead of deliberating in a public meeting, the three supervisors communicated through the county administrator which positions would be eliminated.

Wikicommons / Gage Skidmore

The jury has been selected and opening statements given in Des Moines in the criminal trial of two senior staffers from Ron Paul’s 2012 Presidential Campaign. 

Federal prosecutors say Jesse Benton lied to the FBI, and Demitrios Kesari committed conspiracy, both in attempts to keep payments to former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson secret from the Federal Election Commission. 

Dani Ausen

While across the country first-time home buying is still down since the recession, it appears millennials are starting to move out of apartments or their parents basements. One place millennials are currently buying a majority of the houses is Des Moines.

Flickr / Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig,

"If you have to spend money to get money," says Polk County Attorney John Sarcone, "it's clearly a scam."

Yet many don't know this telltale sign, particularly Iowa seniors who are often the targets of fraud and embezzlement.

Flickr / Jimmy Smith

Communities wanting to develop housing for a growing workforce can apply to the Iowa Finance Authority for low-interest loans. The state agency announced a new program Friday that provides $5 million in low-interest loans to create multifamily dwellings for low-to-moderate income renters.

Flickr / Coen Dijkman

If you've ever wanted your own horse, you can adoption one Saturday in Decorah for $125. About 40 animals will be available for adoption.

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management says there are approximately 58,150 horses and burros roaming the western U.S. But to maintain a healthy wild population and a healthy habitat, the agency says those numbers need to drop by more than half. 

Flickr / Phil Roeder

Des Moines’s downtown skyline looks a little bit different now. The old riverfront YMCA came to a fiery end when it was imploded early Sunday morning. 

Wikipedia / Wapcaplet

The University of Iowa’s Heart and Vascular Center will become the first facility in the state to provide a recently-FDA-approved procedure that decreases the risk of stroke in patients with a type of irregular heartbeat. 

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.