Author

Perry Beeman

Perry Beeman

Senior reporter Perry Beeman has nearly 40 years of experience in Iowa journalism and has won national awards for environmental and business writing. He has written for The Des Moines Register and the Business Record, where he also served as managing editor. He also is former editorial director of Grinnell College. He co-authored the recently published book, "The $80 Billion Gamble," which details the lottery-rigging case of Eddie Tipton.

Drake prof: Iowa’s water quality approach is ‘magical thinking’

By: - July 31, 2021

A Drake University law professor called Iowa’s voluntary program to ease farm runoff and improve water quality “magical thinking” designed to “deny and defer any potential action” and to prevent farmers “from having to do something.” Drake law professor Neil Hamilton, former director of the Drake Agricultural Law Center, told the Iowa Farmers Union Thursday […]

Industry officials ‘optimistic’ lawmakers will pass biofuels standard next session

By: - July 30, 2021

Industry officials are ‘optimistic’ that state lawmakers next year will approve a measure requiring retailers to sell higher blends of biofuels. A member of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board said Friday the legislation stands a better chance next session. Proposed by Gov. Kim Reynolds, the proposed state standard sparked a lively fight between convenience stores […]

CEO: Prairie Meadows on track for record revenue as visitors gamble pandemic aid

By: - July 30, 2021

Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino is likely to set a revenue record this year, in part because visitors are gambling their pandemic relief money, a top official said.  “Revenue is really good this year. I predict we’ll have our biggest year,” Gary Palmer, president and CEO, said in an interview. Prairie Meadows was closed for […]

Law glitch: Iowa horse track illegally took bets on foreign simulcasts for decades

By: - July 29, 2021

Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Altoona took bets on foreign races for as much as 32 years in apparent violation of state law.  The international simulcasts, suspended by state regulators who discovered a legal glitch last fall, resumed earlier this month after a new law took effect July 1.  The Iowa Racing and Gaming […]

Ag experts, Iowa D.C. delegation eye ways to add meatpacking competition

By: - July 28, 2021

Members of Iowa’s congressional delegation on Wednesday called for greater competition in the meatpacking industry, while others said farmer-owned cooperatives might help. Both U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and a University of Missouri professor questioned whether a $500 million federal aid package for smaller meatpacking operations will change the industry significantly, at least in the […]

Grassley questions changing mask policies, says CDC has ‘poor public relations’

By: - July 28, 2021

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley said Wednesday federal health officials’ changing recommendations on mask-wearing could test their credibility and confuse Iowans and other U.S. residents. Grassley, R-Iowa, added that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has “poor public relations,” in his view. Mask-wearing turned into a political controversy during the coronavirus pandemic, with many […]

Ernst: Wearing a mask in school is a family decision, despite new CDC guidance

By: - July 27, 2021

Parents should decide whether their children wear masks to school even if new federal guidelines recommend them for all students, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said Tuesday. CNN reported shortly before Ernst’s phone call with Iowa reporters that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was expected to recommend that everyone in a […]

Iowa’s COVID cases jump nearly 250% in two weeks

By: - July 26, 2021

Iowa’s daily COVID-19 cases have spiked nearly 250% in the past two weeks, but remain at levels similar to the beginning of the pandemic early last year, the New York Times reported.  There are signs of trouble in the latest rise in Iowa cases, as the more contagious delta variant continues to dominate. Though the […]

On ADA’s 31st anniversary, Biden recalls Harkin’s historic role

By: - July 26, 2021

President Joe Biden on Monday recalled a hallmark moment in the career of former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.  At a White House ceremony marking the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which Harkin authored and sponsored, Biden described the moment just before the Senate passed the bipartisan bill. “On the floor of […]

Pandemic-era rush to parks continues, hunting license sales up, fishing down

By: - July 24, 2021

Iowans are continuing their pandemic-era rush to state parks, and resident hunting license sales are the highest they’ve been in at least three years. Some fishing license sales have been below last year, when pandemic restrictions made lakes and rivers some of the few places where people could safely be out of their home. This […]

Grassley, Vilsack, pork industry exec call for immigration reform

By: - July 21, 2021

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Wednesday said Congress needs to overhaul the U.S. immigration system to ease a farm-worker shortage. But he added GOP members are unlikely to support action until Democrats secure the border. Grassley spoke to Iowa reporters on a day that featured a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on overhauling a visa […]

Wrong-way drivers lead to $1.4M overhaul of interchanges

By: - July 21, 2021

Wrong-way drivers kill an average of four Iowans a year, prompting a $1.4 million effort to overhaul 165 interchanges with new signs and pavement markings.  The Iowa Department of Transportation also has installed about 50 traffic cameras, with 10 more to come later this year, to study how and why drivers are steering into oncoming […]