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.

Axne: U.S. House to include $1 billion for biofuels in budget bill

By: - September 8, 2021

The U.S. House will include $1 billion in biofuels funding in its initial draft of the budget bill, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne said Wednesday. “With the right infrastructure investments, we can quickly expand the availability of this low carbon fuel across the U.S.,” Axne, D-3rd District, said in a news release. “To fight climate change, […]

Sioux City schools may offer in-school rapid tests for sick students

By: - September 7, 2021

The Sioux City Community School District is poised to offer rapid COVID-19 testing in schools for sick students, a new mitigation strategy as Iowa students return to the classroom amid the surging delta variant. “It helps to alleviate some of the busyness and craziness that occurs in our health care offices,” said Leslie Heying, communications […]

Lawsuit: Iowa’s school mask mandate ban violates disability rights

By: - September 3, 2021

Eleven families have partnered with a disability rights group to sue the state of Iowa over a law that prevents school districts from requiring face coverings.  “Getting HF 847 blocked is urgent for the state of Iowa, because this law puts vulnerable kids in a dangerous situation,” said Rita Bettis Austen, legal director for the […]

American flag flying with U.S. Capitol in the background.

D.C. Dispatch: What’s up with the debt ceiling?

By: - September 3, 2021

Welcome to the D.C. Dispatch, your weekly update on Iowa’s congressional delegation. This week, two of Iowa’s representatives vowed to vote against raising the debt ceiling, a preview of what could become a contentious issue this fall. Lawmakers are also still focused on two major spending bills working through Congress and the withdrawal of troops […]

Iowa public health director: School districts can decide what COVID-19 data to report

By: - September 2, 2021

It’s up to school districts to decide how to track and report COVID-19 outbreaks in schools, Iowa Department of Public Health Director Kelly Garcia said Thursday. “School districts are reporting that information, and some school districts have made the decision not to provide that information,” Garcia said. “But I believe the vast majority are.” Garcia […]

State officials promise more frequent COVID-19 data updates as delta spreads

By: - September 2, 2021

Iowa will be providing COVID-19 data updates more frequently as the delta variant of the virus continues to spread in the state. Beginning Friday, the Iowa Department of Public Health will update its coronavirus dashboard three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  “We owe it to you to share and ensure that you […]

Planned Parenthood: Iowa could see ‘copycat’ of Texas abortion law

By: - September 1, 2021

As Texas enacts a law that bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and introduces new legal penalties for abortion providers, Democrats and abortion rights advocates are warning that Iowa could adopt similar policies. “I would anticipate a copycat law,” said Jamie Burch Elliott, public affairs director for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa. Burch […]

State auditor urges vaccination, citing high hospitalization cost

By: - September 1, 2021

State Auditor Rob Sand urged Iowans to be vaccinated Wednesday, citing billions of dollars spent for COVID-19 hospitalizations nationwide. “We are all paying for these preventable hospitalizations, whether it be in the form of premiums to private insurers or costs to taxpayer-funded public programs,” Sand said in a news release. “Please don’t add to others’ […]

Iowa restaurants still seeing record demand as COVID cases rise

By: - August 31, 2021

Six in 10 people have changed their restaurant habits due to the delta variant of COVID-19, the National Restaurant Association reported Tuesday, and nearly 20% of people have stopped going to restaurants altogether. But not in Iowa. Iowa Restaurant Association President Jessica Dunker said Tuesday that Iowa restaurants are still seeing massive demand, even as […]

Grassley touts bipartisan infrastructure bill in Indianola visit

By: - August 31, 2021

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley touted his support of the bipartisan infrastructure bill in a visit to Indianola on Tuesday, highlighting the bill’s funding for broadband, bridges and more. “In the 99 counties that I go to every year, I would imagine infrastructure and broadband and things like that have come up in every one of […]

Cruz completes Iowa swing with Nicole Hasso campaign kickoff

By: - August 29, 2021

JOHNSTON, Ia. — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz completed a swing through Iowa on Sunday afternoon with a campaign kickoff event for Iowa 3rd Congressional District candidate Nicole Hasso. “Revival is coming,” Cruz, R-Texas, promised the crowd of about 150 donors. “America is coming back, and I believe that with all of my heart.” In mid-August, […]

Sen. Ted Cruz stumps for Hinson at Linn County fundraiser

By: - August 28, 2021

Central City — Rep. Ashley Hinson announced her run for reelection at a star-studded Republican event on Saturday afternoon. Republican speakers focused on the national partisan divide, pushing the message that Democrats had moved too far left for Iowans. “Kitchen table conversations happening right here oftentimes don’t match up with what’s happening in Washington, D.C., […]