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.

Activist groups unite against proposed abortion amendment to Iowa constitution

By: - October 1, 2021

Members of several reproductive health and activist groups held a press conference Friday, declaring their opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment on abortion and discussing next steps for political action. “We need to remain together because this fight in Iowa is going to be long,” said Gabriela Fuentes, an advocacy strategist with Planned Parenthood North […]

Rural Americans dying of COVID-19 at higher rate

By: - September 30, 2021

Rural Americans died of COVID-19 in mid-September at rates twice as high than the rate of urban Americans, according to a study from the University of Iowa. The RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis has tracked COVID-19 rates in metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties since April 2020. In the second week of September, the Center […]

Des Moines Public Schools to offer drive-through COVID testing

By: - September 30, 2021

Des Moines Public School students and staff will have priority access at two new drive-through COVID-19 testing sites beginning next week. DMPS and Nomi Health, a national healthcare company, will open testing sites at Hoover High School and the Kurtz Opportunity Center on Oct. 4. The new sites will offer PCR tests, which can require […]

Iowa’s COVID-19 cases decline in the wake of a September surge

By: - September 29, 2021

Iowa’s COVID-19 cases have declined from a mid-September peak, but infections and hospitalizations remain significantly higher than earlier this year. COVID-19 infections reached the highest level of 2021 last week, with an average of 1,811 news cases per day. Iowa had one of the highest per-capita rates in the U.S., with an average of 55 […]

Iowa politicians united in opposition to biofuel mandate cuts

By: - September 28, 2021

Iowa politicians are united in their opposition to lowering federal biofuel blending standards amid reports that President Joe Biden is considering rolling them back. Reuters reported last week that Biden is considering cutting biofuel blending requirements due to a lower demand for gasoline. Under the potential plan, Biden would retroactively lower mandates for 2020 and […]

Why does Iowa have a $1.24 billion surplus?

By: - September 28, 2021

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Monday that Iowa ended the fiscal year with an extra $1.24 billion, the largest surplus in Iowa history. “This surplus proves we accomplished exactly what we set out to do — overcome the financial challenges caused by the global pandemic and invest in education, workforce, healthcare, agriculture and technology,” Reynolds said […]

FBI data: Iowa saw record high murder rate in 2020

By: - September 27, 2021

Iowa’s homicide rate hit a record high in 2020, according to a report Monday from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. There were 111 homicide offenses in Iowa in 2020, according to annual FBI data. That’s a nearly 60% increase from 2019, when Iowa recorded 70 murders. It’s also the largest number of Iowa homicides since […]

Speaker Grassley: Lawmakers shouldn’t consider redistricting ‘purely on political motives’

By: - September 24, 2021

Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley said Friday that lawmakers should not be considering the state’s partisan balance or their own political future as they decide whether to approve a proposed set of redistricting maps next month. “You should not be passing a map based purely on political motives,” Grassley said on Friday’s episode of Iowa […]

D.C. Dispatch: Government shutdown creeps closer; House passes abortion bill

By: - September 24, 2021

Welcome to the D.C. Dispatch, your round-up of what went on in Washington, D.C. this week. The focus remains on a few key priorities for the Biden administration: passing a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a not-bipartisan spending proposal, and avoiding a government shutdown over the debt ceiling. The House passed a bill along party lines […]

Chuck Grassley will seek eighth Senate term in 2022

By: - September 24, 2021

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley will run for re-election in 2022, he announced early Friday. It’s 4 a.m. in Iowa so I’m running. I do that 6 days a week. Before I start the day I want you to know what Barbara and I have decided. I’m running for re-election—a lot more to do, for Iowa. […]

Watchdog group: Axne failed to disclose over 40 stock trades

By: - September 23, 2021

U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne did not properly disclose over 40 stock trades between 2019 and 2020, according to a report from a watchdog organization. The Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit ethics group, filed complaints Wednesday against seven House lawmakers, including Axne. The report says that Axne purchased and sold more than 40 assets over the […]

Rear view of students sitting with hands raised in classroom

Iowa school districts pare back COVID-19 reporting to parents

By: - September 23, 2021

Several central Iowa school districts have changed how they report COVID-19 information this school year, giving parents less detailed information about positive cases as the delta variant spreads. West Des Moines Community Schools, a 9,000-student district with 13 schools, did contact tracing last year. Superintendent Lisa Remy said school administrators would send letters to the […]