Author

Katie Akin

Katie Akin

Reporter Katie Akin began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.

Analyst: Iowa student loan delinquency dropped 36% in early pandemic

By: - November 23, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic sent the U.S. economy into a short but drastic recession, generating a wave of layoffs and business closures. But a new analysis found that the first seven months of the pandemic actually ended with fewer Iowans delinquent on credit card and student loan debts. “I think it really shows us how, in […]

Thanksgiving travel to return to pre-pandemic levels

By: - November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving travel is likely to return to pre-pandemic levels this year, travel experts say, including a resurgence of crowds and traffic. The Des Moines International Airport expects “a significant increase in passenger traffic compared to 2020, possibly even edging ahead of 2019,” spokesperson Kayla Kovarna said. “Local TSA officials are predicting approximately 21,100 passengers coming […]

D.C. Dispatch: Iowans work together on ag, health issues as Democrats pass spending bills

By: - November 19, 2021

Welcome to the D.C. Dispatch. It was a busy week in Washington as Democrats advanced both of their major spending bills, breaking months-long stalemates. In the background, Iowa’s delegation was working on bipartisan bills on cattle price transparency and health care provider aid, and Republicans moved for a vote on overturning vaccine mandates. There will […]

Iowa movement opposing vaccine mandates grew during pandemic

By: - November 19, 2021

Iowa’s years-long movement against vaccine mandates has grown significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, with several “medical freedom” groups gaining followers and political influence. Protests against mask mandates and vaccine requirements have become commonplace in Iowa in recent months, with ralliers gathering outside hospitals and in the Capitol rotunda. One of the primary organizers is Informed […]

Political leaders commend UAW, Deere execs for reaching contract agreement

By: - November 18, 2021

Iowa political leaders congratulated United Auto Workers union members on Wednesday after they agreed to a new contract, ending a five-week strike at John Deere plants. About 61% of UAW members voted in favor of a third-round proposal with Deere & Co. for a new six-year contract. The contract will increase wages by 10% and […]

Rear view of students sitting with hands raised in classroom

State board prepares to launch new charter school process

By: - November 17, 2021

The Iowa Board of Education is moving ahead with the implementation of a new state law that changes the way charter schools can form and operate. Thomas Mayes, general counsel for the Department of Education, said the first few charter school applications may be a “choose-your-own adventure” as the state adjusts to the new law. […]

Audit finds Iowa governor wrongfully used federal aid for staff salaries

By: - November 16, 2021

Gov. Kim Reynolds improperly used $450,000 of federal COVID-19 relief funds to pay 21 staff members, according to a new state audit. Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand released the report on Monday. It reveals that the Office of the Governor used $448,448 of federal coronavirus relief funds to pay salaries and benefits for 21 employees […]

GOP speakers celebrate local wins as signs of party strength

By: - November 12, 2021

Central Iowa Republicans gathered in Des Moines Friday night to celebrate victories in the 2021 election and to start planning for the 2022 midterms. “We’re going to do unbelievably next year, because people are fed up with what the Democrats are doing,” said guest speaker Sen. Rick Scott of Florida. The crowd of about 200 […]

Axne announces reelection bid in Iowa’s 3rd District

By: - November 12, 2021

U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne announced Friday that she will run for reelection in Iowa’s 3rd District. “Three years ago, I came to Congress to fight for Iowans and their needs. Since then, I’ve delivered tax cuts, disaster relief, and critical support to Iowa’s families and businesses,” Axne tweeted on Friday morning. “But my work is […]

Iowa joins third lawsuit against federal vaccine mandates

By: - November 10, 2021

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday that Iowa has joined a third lawsuit against federal vaccine mandates. The newest lawsuit targets a federal mandate that requires employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if they work at health care facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid funds. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requirement gives staff one […]

National Republican group takes aim at Deere strike supporters

By: - November 10, 2021

As the John Deere strike enters its fifth week, a national Republican organization took aim at Iowa Democrats for supporting union workers. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, an organization devoted to winning back a GOP Senate majority, issued a news release Wednesday, criticizing Senate candidate Abby Finkenauer for supporting striking workers.  “Far from actually representing […]

Miller-Meeks to seek reelection in Iowa’s new 1st District

By: - November 10, 2021

U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks announced Wednesday that she will be running in Iowa’s newly drawn 1st District in 2022. “I’m running for re-election in Iowa’s 1st District!” Miller-Meeks tweeted on Wednesday morning. “I’m committed to standing up to Washington Democrats and their Socialist Agenda by doing everything in my power to fight for Iowan common […]