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.

Nurses' station in a busy hospital.

‘Staffing crisis’ grips Iowa hospitals as COVID cases climb

By: - December 9, 2021

A recent job posting that seeks temporary critical care nurses for a major Des Moines hospital offered pay of $100 per hour and a weekly stipend of about $1,200 for three months of work. The demand for so-called “traveling nurses” from other states has risen as longstanding nursing shortages have been exacerbated by a surge […]

Shooting victim was part of 20-person hunting group

By: - December 7, 2021

The 37-year-old Winterset man who was shot and killed while deer hunting Saturday in Marion County was part of a large group of about 20 people, some of whom tried to coax deer in the direction of their fellow hunters. Nathan Allen Sharpnack was shot in the torso about 2:45 p.m. near Lake Red Rock […]

Iowa ventilator stockpile sat idle during worst of pandemic

By: - December 6, 2021

Iowa spent $10.3 million acquiring 500 ventilators before the worst months of the coronavirus pandemic when hospitalizations and deaths peaked late last year, but just nine of the breathing apparatuses were distributed to hospitals at that time. “Hospitals have been aware of the availability of these ventilators since they were purchased,” said Sarah Ekstrand, a […]

Turbine ‘graveyard’ removal underway near Ellsworth

By: - December 3, 2021

Workers are in the process of cutting hundreds of discarded wind turbine blades into pieces and hauling them from their highly visible piles along U.S. Interstate 35 near Ellsworth. “They’re progressing, as they say, and that’s all that we care about,” said Rick Young, a Hamilton County supervisor who lives near the blade stacks that […]

Pipeline opponents protest Rastetter at rural forum

By: - December 2, 2021

It’s wrong for the federal government to help fund a proposed carbon pipeline that will enrich its builders at the expense of landowners, according to a group of pipeline opponents who protested Summit Carbon Solutions’ chief executive on Thursday. Bruce Rastetter, who helms Summit Agricultural Group in Alden, was set to speak that day at […]

COVID hospitalizations highest since vaccines became available

By: - December 1, 2021

The number of people with COVID-19 receiving inpatient treatment at Iowa hospitals steeply rose this past week and reached a new high for the year of 721 on Wednesday, according to state data. That’s the highest number of concurrently hospitalized patients in Iowa since coronavirus vaccines became widely available. “Going into the cold season with […]

Senator: Schools should use pandemic money for lead-free water

By: - November 30, 2021

There’s a looming new federal requirement to test school drinking water for lead — a dangerous toxin for children that can damage their brains — that has the potential to cost Iowa districts millions of dollars to mitigate contaminations. But there are many uncertainties because school districts have largely been left to unilaterally decide how […]

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 […]