Author

Jared Strong

Jared Strong

Senior reporter Jared Strong has written about Iowans and the important issues that affect them for more than 15 years, previously for the Carroll Times Herald and the Des Moines Register. His investigative work exposing police misconduct has notched several state and national awards. He is a longtime trustee of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, which fights for open records and open government. He is a lifelong Iowan and has lived mostly in rural western parts of the state.

State lab can detect omicron variant

By: - November 29, 2021

The latest significant coronavirus variant — dubbed “omicron” by the World Health Organization on Friday — has several troubling mutations that might boost its ability to spread, but the changes also make it more quickly detectable by the State Hygienic Laboratory, which processes the tests of Iowa residents. “Fortunately for us, the (tests) that we […]

Environmentalists search for the next Paul W. Johnson

By: - November 28, 2021

A prominent Iowa conservationist who died this year will be honored in an online event this week that is meant to reignite public enthusiasm for sustaining the environment. Paul W. Johnson, a Decorah farmer, was a co-author of key legislation to protect soil and water about two decades ago when he served three terms in […]

State scales back hospital COVID reporting requirements

By: - November 24, 2021

It was burdensome and unnecessary for hospitals to report the county of residence for Iowans receiving in-patient treatment for COVID-19, according to Sarah Ekstrand, a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Public Health. As such, the department is no longer requiring hospitals to report the information, which the state previously published online. A page on […]

Company abandons appeal to export Iowa groundwater

By: - November 23, 2021

A northeast Iowa company that initially sought to export billions of gallons of groundwater to parched western states each year but scaled back the quantity after pushback has abandoned the request to state regulators altogether. The Pattison Sand Co. proposal was repeatedly rejected by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources — most recently in May […]

Company plans to grind wind turbine blades near Earlham

By: - November 22, 2021

A Bondurant company plans to use large wood chippers to grind old wind turbine blades into bits to recycle them, but its work site near Earlham has drawn scorn and pushback from anti-turbine residents in Madison County. Renewablade has tested the grinding process on three blades at a site near U.S. Interstate Highway 80 about […]

Pandemic fatigue: Centerville schools take full week off for Thanksgiving

By: - November 17, 2021

The state’s overall coronavirus infection rate is on the rise again as Thanksgiving approaches, according to the latest state data, and a southern Iowa school district decided it’s time for a break. Well, a longer break than it initially planned. The Centerville Community School District and its more than 1,200 students will have no class […]

Smithfield settlement can’t be used in COVID lawsuits

By: - November 16, 2021

Smithfield Foods agreed this week to pay the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration $13,494 to settle a citation for failing to protect its meatpacking employees in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, from exposure to the coronavirus last year, but the company didn’t admit it did anything wrong. As such, the settlement can’t be “used or […]

Oddly parked barge derails coal train near Mississippi River

By: - November 15, 2021

A coal train derailed late Saturday in far southeast Iowa when it collided with a barge that was parked at the edge of the Mississippi River and was overhanging a nearby railway, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The BNSF Railway train struck the barge about 11:50 p.m. near Montrose, which derailed two […]

Environmental group to host clean energy talk Thursday

By: - November 15, 2021

The Iowa Environmental Council is set to hold its two-hour Bright Ideas 2021 event Thursday to discuss sources of clean energy in Iowa. The event runs from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Des Moines but has satellite, group-viewing options in Iowa City and Waterloo. Attendees also have the option to watch a livestream that […]

Judge resigns assistant chief position after disparaging remarks

By: - November 12, 2021

District Judge Kurt Stoebe resigned as assistant chief judge of the state’s 2B judicial district Friday after his disparaging remarks about candidates to fill a judicial vacancy led Gov. Kim Reynolds to reject his nominating commission’s picks. “It is with sadness that I must inform you of my resignation as assistant chief judge,” Stoebe wrote […]

Python breeders clash with city over home business

By: - November 11, 2021

MANNING, Iowa — Adam Waterbury thought his hobby-turned-business of breeding ball pythons was on the cusp of success. For the past two years, Waterbury, 36, and his wife, Liz, have been raising the small pythons in a modest house on the south side of Manning in western Iowa. In one room of the house, there […]

Dubuque, Johnson and rural counties fuel new COVID uptick

By: - November 10, 2021

New, confirmed coronavirus cases are rising again in Iowa despite dwindling or stagnant infection rates in some of the state’s largest counties. One reason is Dubuque County, where the two-week infection rate doubled in the past month, according to state data. “I know we are not plateauing yet this week, and I don’t know what’s […]