It has been five years since the floods of 2008. Now, a week after another round of flooding in Eastern Iowa, IPR’s Durrie Bouscaren looks at how many Iowans are adapting to changing times.
More than a thousand runners participated in “Run the Flood,” an annual race through Cedar Rapids to commemorate the anniversary of a flood that would change the landscape of many Iowa cities and towns. Carmen Covington says she participates every year.
“It was shocking,” Covington said. “It was sad to see everything I had known my entire life to be destroyed under so much water,”
The deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas is prompting questions about regulatory oversight there. In Iowa, officials say fertilizer is only produced at a handful of sites across the state, but many others store it.
A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spokesman says the agency regulates 700 retail facilities in Iowa that store more than 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia fertilizer, an ingredient that can be particularly volatile.
Officials with Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois are voting on whether to downsize four of their Girl Scout camps. The proposal is a step back from an earlier plan, to sell all four camps entirely. Girl Scouts officials say today's girls want a more modern camping experience.
There are certain traditions that are essential to being a Girl Scout: reciting the Girl Scout Pledge, selling cookies, and – for many girls over many decades – going to summer camp.
A longtime composting program in Iowa City is about to gain a major participant; the dining halls at the state's largest hospital. Iowa Public Radio's Durrie Bouscaren looks at how landfills are turning food waste into a smelly source of garden soil.
At the Iowa City landfill, there are tall rows of compost; a goulash of food waste and lawn trimmings. Each pile is about the size of a city bus, but it’s the smell that you notice first. When it’s cold, you can see steam coming off of the mounds.
You’ve probably heard about controversies over the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing – the technique known as “fracking.” There’s no oil or gas fracking in Iowa…but the increasing use of the technique is affecting the state. It’s creating a market for finely-grained silica sand from northeast Iowa.
And some residents of the area are in conflict over the future of frac sand mining.
Controversy over so-called “frack” sand mining is heating up in northeast Iowa. A community meeting Wednesday evening in Decorah will focus on concerns about the possibility of mining development in Winneshiek County.
Fine sand can be used in the hydraulic fracturing process known as “fracking.” The technique is used to remove natural gas and oil from deep underground. There’s not any oil or gas fracking in Iowa right now – but there is a sand mine in northeast Iowa’s Clayton County, which is shipping frack sand out of state.
Over the past several months, we’ve been reporting on lots of problems caused by a lack of rain. And for good reason – the historic drought plaguing Iowa and much of the nation has dried up crops, destroyed landscaping, and killed off fish.
But like with most things, there can be a silver lining.
John Larson makes wine at Snus Hill Winery in Madrid, Iowa. This time of year, he’s not growing grapes – but he is mixing wine in giant, silver tanks.
Since 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has picked five cities each year for its Greening America's Capitals project. On this year’s list? Des Moines.
The project will focus on revitalizing the 6th Avenue Corridor in downtown Des Moines. The idea is to make the corridor friendlier to pedestrians, with wider sidewalks, improved lightning and larger bus stop shelters.
Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley was in a car that hit a deer last month and that was the beginning of a series of tweets to see if other Iowans have had similar experiences this fall. Senator Grassley says in addition to the vehicle crash, he began noticing a significant amount of dead deer along the highway.
Department of Natural Resources deer biologist Tom Litchfield admits there are certain pockets in the state where there are high concentrations of deer, but for the most part
The head of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources asked the governor and his budget advisors for more than a million dollars to hire new inspectors for the state’s livestock facilities. But that may not be enough to prevent the federal Environmental Protection agency
from taking over enforcement of clean water standards.
A strategy on how Iowa will cut back farm and sewage treatment pollution released today by Governor Branstad’s office is being criticized for being too friendly to farmers. As Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports, its intent is to shrink a dead zone in the nation’s top commercial fishery in the Gulf of Mexico.
The attention often centers on agriculture when a drought hits. But new Iowa Department of Natural Resources numbers show the state’s stream flows are well below normal and groundwater levels are reaching historic lows. There's a ripple effect in how the drought will affect the state’s fish.
One year ago – on May 22, 2011 – one of the deadliest tornados in U.S. history struck the city of Joplin, Missouri. The twister killed 160 people and injured hundreds more.
Recently, IPR’s Ben Kieffer traveled to Joplin to talk with tornado survivors.
He also spoke with researchers from Iowa State University who went to Joplin in the immediate aftermath. They surveyed structural damage to find out what it reveals about how best to survive a tornado.
A southeastern Iowa town located on one of the sharpest bends of the Mississippi River is known for its flourishing local economy and picturesque sunsets. While Muscatine is considered a shining example of American manufacturing, it’s also known as the most polluted city in Iowa, and one of the most poisonous cities in the U.S. Iowa Public Radio’s Joe Cadotte looks into one of Muscatine’s most thriving industries and the slew of environmental violations it’s collected over the past five years.
Something remarkable is happening in the countryside of Iowa this spring; something that hasn’t been seen to this extent, in more than 120 years. Wildlife experts are cheering the rebound of North America’s largest water fowl.