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IowaWatch Payday Loan Investigation Gets Airing on KCRG-TV9′s ‘To The Point’


IowaWatch digital analyst/reporter Lauren Mills spoke on Beth Malicki's "To the Point" program on KCRG-TV9 for a program about her investigation into why the payday loan industry is not regulated more than it already is in Iowa. The interview aired on Sept. 21, 2014. You may watch it here:
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Listen To The Podcast: WMT Radio Show Features IowaWatch Frac Sand Mining Story

A truck enters a rural spot near Clayton, Iowa, on June 24, 2014, where Pattison Sand Company was preparing to open a new mine in the side of a hill. Pattison, which produces industrial sand for the natural gas and oil industries, has about 35 acres of underground mine and 300 acres of above ground for plant operations, shipping and storage, ponding and drying, maintenance, a fabrication shop, reclamation areas and an open pit mine.

IowaWatch executive director-editor Lyle Muller talked on WMT radio host Bob Bruce's Wednesday, Sept. 17, program about reporter Amber Rouse's story about northeast Iowa residents' fight to keep large frac sand mining out of their counties. You can listen to WMT's podcast here. Any advertising in this podcast is WMT's; IowaWatch derives no revenue from it. You can support our nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism with a tax deductible donation at this link. Continue Reading →

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Jim Bohannon To Headline Oct. 2 Celebrating a Free Press and Open Government Banquet

Talk show host Jim Bohannon

The noted radio talk show host and First Amendment advocate accepted IowaWatch's invitation to speak in Iowa. IowaWatch, the Iowa Freedom of Information and Iowa Newspaper Foundation are holding the Oct. 2 banquet to bring attention to the public's right to know. Continue Reading →

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How We Did This: Behind the Scenes of Iowa’s Payday Loan Trap


Research and legwork for this story began in late 2013, based on a suggestion by Charles Munro, a lecturer and associate director of undergraduate studies at the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a volunteer professional advisor for IowaWatch. As IowaWatch reporter and data analyst Lauren Mills started digging into Iowa’s payday loan industry, the story kept growing. In trips to Davenport, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Mount Vernon and Des Moines over an eight-month period and in interviews with people across the state, Mills tracked the impacts of the payday loan industry across Iowa. Delving into political contributions and the intricacies of the payday loan businesses in Iowa involved diving down a rabbit hole of information. Political donors associated with the payday loan industry were identified based on classifications by the National Institute on Money in State Politics as well as by identifying owners of major payday lending businesses. Continue Reading →

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