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.

Des Moines water trustees support regional concept

By: - December 21, 2021

The Des Moines Water Works board of trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to negotiate an agreement with other metro water utilities to collectively govern drinking water production in the area. The trustees voted 4-0 to develop a plan to establish Central Iowa Water Works, in which participating utilities will jointly own the facilities that draw water […]

Iowa senators want to legalize marijuana in state constitution

By: - December 21, 2021

Three Democratic state senators said Tuesday they plan to propose a constitutional amendment that would legalize the sale of recreational marijuana in Iowa for people ages 21 and older. “Marijuana prohibition has been a costly failure,” said Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City. “It’s ending across America because it has caused far more harm than good.” […]

Courthouse custodian accused of sheriff’s investigation leak

By: - December 20, 2021

A longtime custodian of the Sac County courthouse resigned last month after he was caught snooping in the sheriff’s office and admitted he had relayed information about an investigation to an acquaintance who was a “person of interest” in that investigation, according to the county attorney. Mark Von Ahn, 60, who was a custodian for […]

Supreme Court: Polk County can shield secret list of property owners

By: - December 17, 2021

The list of people and businesses that have requested their Polk County properties to be withheld from search results of a public database is confidential, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday. That ruling overturns earlier decisions by a district court judge, an administrative law judge and the Iowa Public Information Board, which said the county’s […]

5 cases of omicron confirmed in Iowa

By: - December 17, 2021

The omicron variant of the coronavirus has been detected five times in Iowa by the State Hygienic Laboratory’s genetic sequencing, the Iowa Department of Public Health said Thursday. “At this time, the delta variant remains the dominant strain circulating the state,” said Sarah Ekstrand, an IDPH spokesperson. The state lab analyzes the genetic material of […]

Iowa Capital Dispatch sues governor for public records

By: - December 16, 2021

Iowa Capital Dispatch sued Gov. Kim Reynolds and other members of her office on Thursday in state court for their repeated failures to respond to public information requests. It joins the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and Bleeding Heartland, an online political news and progressive commentary site, in a suit that asks a judge to […]

COVID hospitalizations reach new 2021 high

By: - December 15, 2021

There were 823 people with COVID-19 receiving inpatient treatment at Iowa hospitals on Wednesday, a 6% increase in the past week, according to state data. There were 843 as of Tuesday, a new high for the year and the highest number since early December 2020. In response to rising hospitalizations and a shortage of nurses, […]

New record: Iowa farmland values jump 29 percent

By: - December 15, 2021

Farmland prices in Iowa reached a new high this year of about $9,750 per acre, according to Iowa State University’s annual Farmland Value Survey. Higher commodity prices, favorable interest rates and strong yields were the primary driving forces behind an uptick in land sales, the survey revealed. However, the state’s agricultural land in 2013 was […]

No criminal charges expected for deer hunter death

By: - December 14, 2021

The person who shot and killed a fellow deer hunter near Knoxville this month will not be charged with a crime, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Nathan Allen Sharpnack, 37, of Winterset, was shot about 2:45 p.m. on Dec. 4 as he sought to push deer in the direction of fellow hunters […]

Iowa is one of the nation's top producers of wind energy. (Photo by Perry Beeman/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Dangerous winds could accompany record-breaking Wednesday heat

By: - December 13, 2021

Temperatures in parts of Iowa are expected to eclipse 70 degrees on Wednesday, which might set new record highs for the day and the entire month of December, according to the National Weather Service. But the winds that will carry that warmth are expected to be severe, with sustained speeds of up to 40 mph […]

Cedar Rapids school district fined for asbestos contamination

By: - December 10, 2021

The return to in-person classes at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids was delayed last year when a company that was hired to repair derecho damage to the school took no precautions when it removed asbestos-containing floor tiles from a room, according to an Iowa Department of Natural Resources administrative order. It was the second […]

Cattle farmer fined twice in three years for creek contamination

By: - December 9, 2021

A northwest Iowa cattle farmer repeatedly allowed manure-laden water to escape from a detention basin near his feedlots this year, which polluted a creek and its tributary and killed about 13,000 small fish. Lou Pick, of rural Remsen, has agreed to pay fines of nearly $9,000 for the most-recent infraction that resulted in the fish […]