Lauren Mills

Recent Stories

School District Responses Show Varied Interpretations Of Iowa Open Records Law

The Iowa City Community School District office is shown April 4. The district was the only one to assess a fee.

Parents, or any member of the public for that matter, who ask some of Iowa's largest school districts how their district deals with emergency lock downs for their children's safety would have difficulty obtaining the district's policy. Continue Reading →

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Depression In College: Video Interviews With Students On Battling Depression

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TWO VIDEO REPORTS: The personal stories of a University of Northern Iowa student and recent University of Iowa graduate bring to life the problems students with depression deal with when trying to earn a college degree. See them tell their stories in this special report, "Depression in College". Continue Reading →

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Depression In College: Students’ Struggles With Depression Add Barrier to Graduation

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IowaWatch reporters Linh Ta and Rana Moustafa spoke with Iowa college students diagnosed with depression who said it impacted their performance in the classroom, but they often feared to reveal their struggles because of the stigma associated with the disease. Read and hear their stories in this comprehensive report. Continue Reading →

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Little Information Exists About Hazardous Materials Traveling Across Iowa

The Cedar Rapids and Linn Metro Hazmat Task Force truck stands ready in the Cedar Rapids Fire Station on December 16, 2013.

Special IowaWatch/Investigative News Network report: The Iowa Department of Transportation does not track or permit vehicles carrying hazardous materials in Iowa. The Office of Rail Transportation has some data, but it is limited to broad categories, some of which encompass both hazardous and non-hazardous materials, making it hard to determine what is traveling through. Continue Reading →

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IowaWatch Interview: Branstad Willing To Use Position To Keep Legislative Agenda On Track

Gov. Branstad spoke with IowaWatch reporters during an exclusive interview Monday, Jan. 13 during the opening of the 2014 legislature.

Despite talk about bipartisanship, the Iowa legislative session started with party leaders voicing different agendas, but Gov. Terry Branstad remaining confident in an IowaWatch interview that the session would stay focused. "There's always a lot of distractions, and there's a lot of issues that come up. This is obviously not my first session," Branstad said Monday afternoon after the session opened. "What I've learned from all that experience is if you have a clear and focused agenda ... you improve your chances of success." Continue Reading →

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Poor Housing, Wage Cheats Still Plague Midwest Migrant Farm Workers

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A lack of enforcement or inspections and legal loopholes are leaving migrant workers in Iowa vulnerable, cheated of wages and living in substandard housing. The problems include wage theft, broken contracts, substandard housing, working arrangement violations and Agricultural Workers Protection Act violations.

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