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.

Water utility near dried-up river pushes back against restrictions

By: - April 5, 2023

MAY CITY, Iowa — A rural water utility in northwest Iowa wants to relax its state-mandated reporting requirements despite regulators’ finding that it contributed to a river running dry last year. “We’re done being bullied,” said Doug Westerman, general manager of the Osceola County Rural Water System. “We’re done being pushed around.” A two-mile segment […]

Farmers fined for fertilizer creek contamination and fish kill

By: - April 4, 2023

Contaminated water from a fertilizer containment area at an eastern Iowa farm was routinely pumped into a tile drain, which poisoned a pond, creek and more than 50,000 small fish, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Patrick and Tracy Hammes LLC was recently fined $10,000 and ordered to pay an additional $11,339.89 for […]

State board rejects $1.5 million of grain loss claims

By: - April 3, 2023

The Iowa Grain Indemnity Fund Board on Monday rejected nearly $1.5 million worth of claims from people who sold grain to a now-defunct soybean dealer. That represents about 41% of the losses that farmers and others sought to recoup in the wake of Global Processing Inc.’s bankruptcy late last year. The main reason for those […]

Hog confinement owner fined $10K for manure spills

By: - March 31, 2023

A northwest Iowa hog confinement owner who has violated state regulations more than two dozen times was recently fined $10,000 for spills from one of his facilities, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The fine is one of three the department has levied in the past decade against Larrell DeJong, who lives near […]

Controversial public lands bill dies in Iowa House

By: - March 30, 2023

A bill that was widely derided for its potential to diminish the state’s acquisition of land for public parks and recreational trails did not survive a legislative deadline for further consideration this session. Senate File 516 cleared the Iowa Senate about two weeks ago but stumbled in the House. It would have made maintenance of […]

State fund that protects farmers is set to go broke

By: - March 30, 2023

A state fund that protects farmers from losses when grain dealers and warehouses go bankrupt is poised to run out of money, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. The state’s Grain Indemnity Fund, created amid the 1980s farm crisis, has fallen below a minimum threshold. It does not have enough money […]

Public lands bill gets second nod from Iowa House subcommittee

By: - March 29, 2023

A bill that has the potential to restrict new public lands acquisitions — and that was shifted to its second Iowa House committee after passage by the first committee was in doubt — got preliminary approval on Wednesday. The bill would prioritize the maintenance of state-owned lands over acquisitions. Its supporters in a Wednesday subcommittee […]

COVID cases decline with state poised to reduce reporting

By: - March 29, 2023

State health officials are expected to switch away from an online dashboard to display COVID-19 data at the end of this week, which was the third in a row to have declining new reported infections for Iowa. That reporting change — along with eliminating a requirement for clinical labs to report confirmed infections by the […]

DNR issues fines for manure spills and uncertified application

By: - March 24, 2023

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources recently issued three fines for incidents that stemmed from manure spills or people spreading manure on land without being certified. One of the penalties went to Sutter Finisher, near Pleasantville, which reported a manure spill in April 2022. The farm has nearly 2,500 hogs and was pumping manure when […]

Third person fined for burning tires in eastern Iowa

By: - March 24, 2023

The state has now fined three people for burning tires to accelerate a brush fire in eastern Iowa in December, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Mike Burken, of Blue Hyll Dairy near Clinton, had a nagging problem of people dumping tires on the dairy property, so those tires went to a nearby […]

House passes bill to restrict eminent domain for pipelines

By: - March 22, 2023

Legislation that would restrict carbon dioxide pipeline companies’ ability to use eminent domain was overwhelmingly approved by the Iowa House on Wednesday. “I believe that the issue before us today — and the vote that we will take on this issue — is indeed historic,” said Rep. Steven Holt, the Denison Republican who led House […]

Iowa’s COVID infection rate wanes but hospitalizations rise

By: - March 22, 2023

There was an 11% increase last week in the number of people infected by the coronavirus who are receiving inpatient treatment at Iowa hospitals despite declining, documented infection rates, according to state and federal data. About 166 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized on any given day last week, up from 149 the week before, the […]