The Iowa Capitol is shown May 31, 2016.

News Quiz: Relationship between Iowa and China

Gov. Terry Branstad said in a summer IowaWatch interview that Iowa needs to maintain trade relationships with China and get good business deals with partners in that country. Iowa has built significant economic and diplomatic relationships with China since the 1980s. Find out in this news quiz how much you know about Iowa-Chinese relations.

An American Red Cross nurse at a railroad station in St. Etienne, helping wounded soldiers in July 1918.

Iowa History: Iowa’s Gold Star Women

“There is a handsome bronze tablet in the Army and Navy building in Washington, memorializing the mules and horses who died in the war; but nowhere is there found a record of the women who died,” declared Helen C. Courtney, a member of the Women’s Overseas Service League. The organization led an effort to establish a memorial for women who died in World War I, including a list of 161 names of “gold star women.” Among the names were several Iowans.

Chad Ingels, a corn, soy and hog farmer in northeastern Iowa, pulls weed in his no-till soybean field on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. Ingels uses herbicides as well as insecticides and fungicides, when needed, on his fields.

IowaWatch Connection Podcast: Health Impacts Of Widely-Used Pesticides Uncertain

Iowa’s wide expanses of row-cropped fields produced roughly 2.5 billion bushels of corn and 554 million bushels of soybeans in 2015. And for many, those high yields are thanks in part to pesticides. But what impact, if any, do those chemicals have on our health? It’s a controversial topic and the answer is hard to pin down. In many cases, those we spoke with said the jury is still out.

Judith Ellen Foster portrait  from circa 1908.

Iowan Becomes Highest Paid Woman in Government

Clinton, Iowa, in the 1870s was home to plenty of “rough freedom-loving frontiersmen” who worked in the numerous lumber rafting and milling establishments that lined the riverfront. It was a relatively new city with a population of a little over 6,000 and businesses of all kinds were booming.


Only three states score higher than D+ in State Integrity Investigation; 11 flunk

The 2015 State Integrity Investigation, a data-driven assessment of state government, found that in state after state, open records laws are laced with exemptions and part-time legislators and agency officials engage in glaring conflicts of interests and cozy relationships with lobbyists. Meanwhile, feckless, understaffed watchdogs struggle to enforce laws as porous as honeycombs.

Michael Libbie interviewing Lyle Muller at Drake University on Sept. 24, 2015.

Podcast: IowaWatch Featured On Michael Libbie’s ‘Insight On Business’

Michael Libbie, host of the weekday news program ‘Insight On Business’, recently interviewed Lyle Muller, executive director and editor of the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, about covering Iowa’s presidential precinct caucuses and the center’s Oct. 8, 2015, Celebrating a Free Press and Open Government banquet. You can listen to a podcast of that interview, which aired on KPSZ AM940 in Des Moines, here:

Pio_Life_Imm_Vietnamese woman and child in crowd ca1975 Des Moines Ia SHSI IC Coll

News Quiz: Refugees In Iowa

Since 1975, the United States has resettled more than 3 million refugees. Between 1975 and 2005, over 25,000 refugees were resettled directly into Iowa alone. Do you know some of the history behind refugee resettlement in Iowa?


IowaWatch Connection: Filling Gaps in Iowa’s Workforce

There’s a gap between the jobs that are available in Iowa and the skill set of workers to fill those jobs. We’ll talk about preparing workers for the jobs that are actually available, creating a better workplace, and rethinking the entire concept of work. “You can’t have a successful economy without having a relatively diversely skilled and motivated young workforce. We’ve got good people like that, that’s just Iowa, whether it’s city or county, people in Iowa are workers,” said Iowa State University Department of Economics associate scientist David Swenson. However, Swenson noted that many young workers are migrating out of rural areas for better opportunities for themselves and their families in larger communities — places with higher pay, better amenities and better jobs available for spouses.


News Quiz: Iowa Flooding

According to a 2014 White House National Climate Assessment report, an analysis of rainfall patterns in Iowa shows a significant increase in the number of days with heavy rainfall, despite no increase in total annual precipitation. Major cities across Iowa have suffered multi-million dollar losses from floods over the past two decades. Do you know some of the history and facts behind flooding in Iowa?