Jay Waagmeester

Jay Waagmeester

Jay is a former Iowa Capital Dispatch intern. Jay is based in Ames and is currently a senior majoring in journalism and marketing at Iowa State University. He has interned at New Century Press and contributed to the Iowa State Daily.

Spirit Lake district repeals policy allowing school staff to carry guns

By: - June 22, 2023

Spirit Lake’s public school district has repealed a policy allowing staff to carry guns on campus, the district announced during a special board meeting Thursday. The Spirit Lake Community School District scheduled the meeting in advance of its current liability insurance policy expiring on June 30.  In November, the district was notified by its insurer, […]

Reynolds renews request for disaster declaration

By: - June 21, 2023

More than three weeks have passed since a downtown Davenport building collapsed. Since then, people have been rescued from the building, died in the building, and crews have begun clearing the site where the more-than-a-century-old building once stood. So far, though, a federal disaster declaration has yet to be issued. For the second time in […]

ACLU: Ordinances restricting drag performances are unconstitutional

By: - June 21, 2023

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa says city ordinances that restrict performances by “male or female impersonators” are unconstitutional. The ACLU of Iowa is encouraging multiple cities in the state to change zoning ordinances restricting such shows — including drag performances — at businesses. Some cities have taken action, while others remain in violation […]

EPA poised to mitigate threat to Des Moines drinking water

By: and - June 20, 2023

DES MOINES – Federal regulators might pump contaminated water from the ground near Des Moines Water Works to keep it away from the metro area’s water supply. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday it will give priority cleanup status to the groundwater near the water utility, which lies just southwest of downtown Des Moines. […]

D.C. Dispatch: Animal diseases, dog racing and disarming the IRS

By: - June 16, 2023

Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst worked in unison this week, co-sponsoring multiple bills together, while Rep. Randy Feenstra worked on a proposal to help maintain livestock exports despite animal disease outbreaks. Take a look at what Iowa’s lawmakers were up to this week: Feenstra introduced legislation aiming to ease restrictions on livestock exports amid […]

School board must find new insurance provider or take guns away from staff

By: - June 15, 2023

The Spirit Lake Community School District is in the process of resolving an insurance issue created by a policy allowing school employees to carry guns on campus.  School administration was notified in November by its insurance provider, EMC Insurance, of a potential lapse in insurance coverage, according to email acquired through an open records request […]

ACLU urges school board to deny request to regulate student protests

By: - June 12, 2023

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Iowa is urging an Iowa school board not to consider restricting student protests. In a letter sent to the Atlantic School Board in advance of its June 14 meeting, the ACLU of Iowa urged the board not to consider or adopt policies prohibiting student demonstration. The letter was […]

D.C. Dispatch: Ag policy, clean water and Chinese ‘dumping’

By: - June 9, 2023

With both chambers of Congress back in session, Iowa’s delegates spent the week tackling agricultural matters in advance of the farm bill, and Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst pursued issues related to trade and spending in China. Rep. Zach Nunn announced legislation aimed at helping ag producers buy land and access markets. The legislation […]

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum continues on the Iowa campaign trail with stop in Ankeny

By: - June 9, 2023

Republican presidential candidate Doug Burgum discussed energy and national security Friday as an early morning attendee of the Northside Conservative Breakfast Club at the Briarwood Club in Ankeny. Burgum, the governor of North Dakota, announced his candidacy for president in Fargo on Wednesday. He followed the announcement by heading to Iowa, with stops in Farley […]

Rear view of students sitting with hands raised in classroom

Iowa student progress ‘fared fairly well’ despite pandemic, state officials say

By: - June 8, 2023

Iowa student performance over the past two years was close to what would have been expected before the pandemic, state Board of Education members heard Thursday. However, the state did see a “significant decline” in a national assessment on eighth-grade math, the Department of Education reported. The board was presented with Iowa Statewide Assessment of […]

Reynolds, congressional delegation request federal aid for Davenport building collapse

By: - June 7, 2023

Gov. Kim Reynolds and members of Iowa’s congressional delegation are requesting federal assistance from President Joe Biden to respond to the May 28 collapse of a Davenport apartment building.  Through a letter sent to the White House, Reynolds states the collapse is “of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capability of […]

Axne joins USDA senior leadership

By: - June 7, 2023

Cindy Axne, former representative for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, was appointed to a federal level leadership position.  Axne was appointed senior adviser for rural engagement, delivery and prosperity, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday. Axne was the sole Democrat representing Iowa during her time in Congress. Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack is the U.S. […]