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.

Economist: Climate change, hunger, food scarcity demand ‘transformation’

By: - September 18, 2021

A challenging combination of food scarcity and climate change-related threats to agriculture are driving calls for a “transformation” in food systems, an economist told environmental journalists this week.  Those issues are expected to be discussed by world leaders at a special United Nations food systems conference Sept. 23 in New York. Channing Arndt, a development economist […]

Iowa sees sharp jump in COVID-19 cases statewide, outbreaks at nursing homes

By: - September 17, 2021

Iowa has seen a sharp increase in the average number of new COVID-19 cases and in outbreaks at nursing homes this week.  In just four days, the two-week increase in cases surged to 44%, the New York Times reported. The Monday figure was 27%. The previous Friday, Sept. 10, it was 23%. As of Friday, […]

Crawford County to change records policy after violation of state law

By: - September 17, 2021

The Crawford County Board of Supervisors is the latest group of Iowa elected officials to run afoul of the state open records law by restricting how members of the public can ask for records. The board erroneously told a citizen she had to submit an information request in writing, according to the Iowa Public Information […]

State board: Reporter’s complaint against Iowa Workforce Development ‘has merit’

By: - September 16, 2021

Iowa Capital Dispatch’s claim that Iowa Workforce Development violated the state’s open records law while failing to turn over its director’s text messages has “merit,” a state panel decided Thursday. The Iowa Public Information Board ruled that the news organization’s formal complaint against the state agency is “legally sufficient” and “has merit,” in addition to […]

Business leader: ‘Acute’ workforce shortage means recruiting high school students more vigorously

By: - September 15, 2021

A crucial workforce shortage in Iowa makes it more important for businesses to meet with high-school students through an existing program, a business leader told the Iowa Rural Development Council Wednesday. Joe Murphy, executive director of the Iowa Business Council, which represents 22 of Iowa’s largest employers, said the council is urging businesses to use […]

Dairy farmer: Fix ‘broken’ milk pricing system

By: - September 15, 2021

A Granville, Iowa, dairy farmer appealed to a Senate subcommittee Wednesday to help fix a “broken” milk-pricing system she said has worsened conditions in an era of financial uncertainty. Christina Zuiderveen, managing partner of Black Soil Dairy LLC and an industry leader, said the federal milk marketing orders system “promised dairy producers that if their […]

Report: Iowa state pensions among the nation’s best-funded

By: - September 14, 2021

Iowa’s state government pension funds are among the best-funded in the nation even as other states have improved their position, a new Pew Charitable Trusts analysis shows.  Pew found that nationally, state retirement systems are in the best shape they’ve achieved since the Great Recession of 2007-09. As a group, U.S. state retirement systems together […]

covid-19 cell pastel

Iowa’s surge in COVID cases strengthens

By: - September 13, 2021

The uptick in Iowa’s COVID-19 cases gained steam over the weekend, the New York Times reported.  Iowa’s daily average of new cases was up 27% over the two weeks that ended Sunday, the Times reported. The comparable two-week figure reported Friday was 23%.  However, the gain in hospitalizations slowed a bit. As of Sunday, hospitalizations […]

Iowa COVID cases rise 23%, some venues increase safety measures

By: - September 10, 2021

Despite a 23% jump in Iowa COVID-19 cases the past two weeks, no one attending the Iowa State Cyclones’ home game Saturday against the Iowa Hawkeyes will be required to wear a mask.  Iowa State recommends those sitting in indoor seating areas at Jack Trice Stadium wear a face covering. However, indoor entertainment venues have […]

DSM airport traffic exceeds projections

By: - September 9, 2021

The Des Moines airport has seen a typical seasonal drop in passengers but traffic still is running about 90% of pre-pandemic levels, a top official said.  That is higher than expected.  Kevin Foley, executive director of Des Moines International Airport, said ridership has been ranging from 88% to 92% of 2019 levels in recent weeks. […]

FBI agent: Growth of cybercrime ‘unbelievable,’ tougher penalties needed

By: - September 9, 2021

The federal government is “way behind the times” in fighting cybercrimes and must do more to respond to growing, largely unchecked threats, an FBI agent told the Greater Des Moines Partnership Thursday.  “Our cyber laws are actually way behind the times,” said Ken Schmutz, Omaha-based supervisory special agent and member of the Cyber Task Force […]

State panel approves status-quo DNR spending ordered by governor

By: - September 8, 2021

The state’s lead environmental agency would operate with the same $104.2 million in appropriations as this year under a proposed fiscal year 2023 budget limited by Gov. Kim Reynolds.  The governor-appointed Natural Resource Commission endorsed the appropriations request at its meeting Wednesday. Following Reynolds’ guidelines for budgeting, the department would begin with virtually every program […]