The IowaWatch Connection

The IowaWatch Connection, a statewide audience engagement program, is produced with underwriting support from the Iowa Insurance Division and its Iowa Fraud Fighters program, and from AARP Iowa. It was launched as a pilot with a $25,000 John S. and James L. Knight Foundation grant awarded through the Investigative News Network (now the Institute for Nonprofit News).

The program includes a weekly, statewide news and public affairs radio program that airs on participating stations across Iowa.

Jeff Stein, host and producer of the IowaWatch Connection radio program

Jeff Stein, host and producer of the IowaWatch Connection radio program

Jeff Stein, a noted Iowa broadcast veteran and historian, former executive director of the Iowa Broadcast News Association and currently general manager at KXEL radio in Waterloo, hosts and produces the program on a network of stations across the state. The program premiered July 5-6, 2014.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RADIO PROGRAM

IOWAWATCH CONNECTION FORUMS

IowaWatch has hosted public forums in various parts of Iowa to explore issues that affect its residents. The first such forum, Critical Decisions about Elder Care, was held April 29, 2014, in Des Moines. We also held forums in 2014 that explored problems with meth addiction in Iowa, featuring the documentary Breaking the Cycle: Meth Addiction In The Heartland, in Council Bluffs, Des Moines and Iowa City. Forums on how to keep young talent in Iowa were held in 2015 in Waterloo and Coralville and a forum that explored whether or not boundaries exist for free speech was held in Iowa City in 2016. We explored veterans’ issues in a Nov. 9, 2017, live storytelling event in Iowa City with AARP Iowa and Iowa Public Radio and, in a live storytelling event Nov. 30, 2017, with Iowa Writers’ House of Iowa City, what appeals to people who adopted Iowa as their home state.

Check here for updates about the IowaWatch Connection.

COVERAGE MAP OF THE IOWAWATCH CONNECTION

The IowaWatch Connection airs on 19 radio stations covering Iowa, reaching listeners across the state and parts of Iowa’s seven neighboring states. Additionally, an Illinois high school station, WLTL-FM, airs the program during the school year as a teaching tool for students and to help fulfill its public service responsibility.

The IowaWatch Connection airs on 19 stations that cover Iowa and a 20th station in Illinois. This image shows the stations' combined coverage areas.

The IowaWatch Connection airs on 19 stations that cover Iowa and a 20th station in Illinois. This image shows the stations’ combined coverage areas.

FIND A STATION NEAR YOU

KVFD-AM, Fort Dodge — Fridays at 10 a.m.
KALA-FM, Davenport — Fridays at 10:30 p.m.
WMT-AM, Cedar Rapids — Saturdays at 5 a.m; and Sundays at 4 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.
KOIL, Omaha — Saturdays at 5:30 a.m.
KSIB-FM, Creston — Saturdays at 6 a.m.
KXEL-AM, Waterloo/Cedar Falls — Saturdays at 6 a.m. and Sundays at 11 a.m.
KROS-AM, Clinton — Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m.
KROS-FM, Clinton — Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m.
WHO-AM, Des Moines — Sundays at 5:30 a.m.
KRTI-FM, Newton/Grinnell — Sundays at 5:30 a.m.
KCYZ-FM, Ames — Sundays at 6 a.m.
KSCJ-AM, Sioux City — Sundays at 6:30 a.m.
KSCJ-FM, Sioux City — Sundays at 6:30 a.m.
KMA-AM, Shenandoah — Sundays at 6:35 a.m.
KMA-FM, Clarinda — Sundays at 6:35 a.m.
KGLO-AM, Mason City — Sundays at 7:06 a.m.
WLTL-FM, LaGrange (IL) — Sundays at 7:30 a.m. during the school year.
KASI-AM, Ames — Sundays at 8:30 a.m.
KXIC-AM, Iowa City — Sundays at 8:30 a.m.
KFJB-AM, Marshalltown — Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

RECENT EPISODES

Topics covered include the political climate in Iowa, determining the truth in the news we consume, our cybersecurity and water quality in Iowa.

Program Topic Listen
184
Jan. 5-7, 2018
2018 Iowa Legislative Preview — Top legislative leaders stake claim to their top issues of Iowa’s 2018 General Assembly on the eve of the session’s first day.
Categories: Government and Politics
Guests:

  • Gov. Kim Reynolds/R-Osceola
  • Iowa House Speaker Linda Upmeyer/R-Clear Lake
  • Iowa Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix/R-Shell Rock
  • Sen. Jeff Danielson/D-Cedar Falls
  • Sen. Bill Dotzler/D-Waterloo
  • Erin Murphy/Lee Enterprises Des Moines Bureau
183
Dec. 29-31, 2017
The Year 2017 In Review — We take a look back at the most popular and interesting stories covered by the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism during calendar year 2017.
Categories: Center News, General News
Guests:

  • Jeff Stein and Lyle Muller/IowaWatch
182
Dec. 22-24, 2017
Iowa, My Second Home — Iowans like to tell others how great our state is. How do you measure that? This week, five people who moved to Iowa and now make their home here give it a try.
Categories: Business and Consumer Affairs, General News
Guests:

  • Miriam Alarcon Avila, Jim Jacobson, Lea Haravon Collins, Simeon Talley, and Daphne Patton, participants in a special live storytelling event hosted by IowaWatch and the Iowa Writers’ House of Iowa City
181
Dec. 15-17, 2017
2020 Caucus Reform — After the close 2016 Democratic presidential precinct caucus, the state party conducted a self-study of the process. Last weekend, the national party issued guidelines for changes. How much will this affect our unique event, and how will it impact Iowa party development?
Categories: Government, Politics
Guests:

  • David Nagle, former Iowa Democratic Party chair/Waterloo
  • Christopher Larimer, political science professor, UNI/Cedar Falls
  • Lyle Muller/IowaWatch
180
Dec. 8-10, 2017
Tax Breaks and Economic Development Revisited — A deal struck in 2017 to bring a new Apple center near Des Moines has led to deep interest in the concept of government intervention in economic development.
Categories: Government, Business and Consumer Affairs
Guests:

  • Christine Romans, CNN/New York
  • Quentin Hart, mayor/Waterloo
  • David Swenson, economist/Iowa State University
  • Ernie Goss, economist/Creighton University
179
Dec. 1-3, 2017
Controversial Police Interrogation Techniques Revisited — Supporters say it gets the toughest criminals to confess but does one particular interrogation technique also convince innocent people to confess to something they didn’t do?
Categories: Criminal Justice
Guests:

  • Dorothy Varallo-Speckeen, Moline, IL, the accused
  • Jennifer Schaefer, Moline, IL, friend of accused
  • Audio from Varallo-Speckeen police interrogation
  • Dean Strang, Madison, WI, lawyer
  • Krista Johnson/IowaWatch
178
Nov. 24-26, 2017
Immigration and Fear — The clock is ticking down toward expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, provisions. At issue–what to do with so-called DREAMers, people who were brought to the United States from other countries at an early age without documentation but who have since been educated in U.S. schools and consider this country to be home.
Categories: Government and Politics
Guests:

  • Iran Carlos, Buena Vista University sophomore, Storm Lake, IA
  • Storm Lake, IA, Chief of Police Mark Prosser
  • Jessica Maffitt, Benzoni Law Offices and American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and immigration lawyer, Des Moines
  • Ofelia Rumbo, human resources director, PRO Cooperative, Pocahontas, IA
  • Madeline McCormick/IowaWatch
177
Nov. 17-19, 2017
Farmland Ownership and Food Security Revisited — One important way to ensure food security in the United States is to keep farmland ownership from going into foreign hands. That doesn’t always happen. We exam why, and how Iowa law prohibits foreign farmland ownership.
Categories: Business and Consumer Affairs
Guests:

  • Johnathan Hettinger, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting/Urbana-Champaign
  • Brant Houston, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting and University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign
  • Neil Hamilton, Drake University/Des Moines
  • Sen. Charles Grassley/R-New Hartford
  • Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
  • Lyle Muller/IowaWatch
176
Nov. 10-12, 2017
Addressing Veterans’ Issues Revisited — We’ve previously heard the first-hand accounts of veterans who had difficulty reintegrating into society. In this report, we hear from those whose jobs are to help veterans and tell their stories.
Categories: Government and Politics
Guests:

  • Kevin Dill, Black Hawk County veteran affairs office/Waterloo
  • Phoebe Trepp, Willis Dady Homeless Services/Cedar Rapids
  • Chris Shackelford, Grout Museum District/Waterloo
  • Bob Neymeyer, Grout Museum District/Waterloo
175
Nov. 3-5, 2017
Voices of Veterans Revisited — We say we want to support our veterans but what does that mean? Iowa veterans offer suggestions on what that could be.
Categories: Government and Politics
Guests:

  • Lloyd Querry, Army veteran/West Des Moines
  • Lana Gillaspie, Navy veteran/Knoxville
  • Joe Stutler, Desert Storm veteran/Marion
  • Rachel Brown, Navy veteran/Waukee
  • Robert Boyd, Army veteran/Carroll
  • Ron Healey, Vietnam veteran/Dubuque
  • Ronald Lehman, Marines veteran/Grimes
  • Bruce Montis, Marines veteran/Waukee
  • Earl Mefford, WWII veteran/Hedrick
  • Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds
  • U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa
  • Lyle Muller, IowaWatch
174
Oct. 27-29, 2017
Urban Opportunity Disparity — We like to think that a person who gets the same opportunity as another in Iowa will be able to attain the same achievements and goals. That may or may not be true in practice, but what is true is that those who do not start with equal opportunities are destined to fight an uphill battle.
Categories: Business and Consumer Affairs
Guests:

  • Izaah Knox, incoming executive director, Urban Dreams/Des Moines;
  • Hillary Frey, reporter/Huff Post
  • Babar Ahmed, concerned citizen/Des Moines;
  • John Campbell, steelworkers union member/Des Moines
  • Cody Hiles, community relations director, Broadlawns Medical Center/Des Moines
  • Lyle Muller, IowaWatch
173
Oct. 20-22, 2017
State Budget Imblance — Iowa had to cut spending and borrow money in order to balance the FY 2017 budget. How accurate will the revenue projections be for the current fiscal year? And how can the state better predict revenue and manage expenses?
Categories: Government and Politics
Guests:

  • Gov. Kim Reynolds (R)
  • State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald (D)
  • Nate Boulton (D)/state senator and candidate for governor
  • Fred Hubbell (D)/candidate for governor
  • Ron Corbett (R)/Cedar Rapids, Iowa, mayor and candidate for governor
172
Oct. 13-15, 2017
The Alzheimer’s Tsunami — The growing number of aging Iowans means more are dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. Some 64,000 in Iowa, alone, have the disease. How well prepared are we to deal with this growing health care problem?
Categories: Health
Guests:

  • Alan Scherer, Alzheimer’s sufferer/West Des Moines
  • Anne Scherer, wife of sufferer/West Des Moines
  • Tim Charles, CEO, Mercy Medical Center/Cedar Rapids
  • Barb Blevins, West Des Moines
  • Kathy Good, widow of Alzheimer’s sufferer/Cedar Rapids
  • Brandon Geib, formerly Iowa Alzheimer’s Association/Des Moines
  • Cindy Hadish/IowaWatch
  • Lyle Muller/IowaWatch
171
Oct. 6-8, 2017
Campus Political Rhetoric Revisited — Political debate these days is spirited. But is all that discussion leading us anywhere good?
Categories: Politics
Guests:

  • Jim Bohannon, talk show host/Westwood One
  • Chase Harrison, KBVU Radio/Buena Vista University
  • Naomi Clark, English professor/Loras College
  • Sashay Carroll, student/University of Northern Iowa
  • Nezreen Iskandrani, student/William Penn University
  • Aaron Clemens, student/William Penn University
  • Alexander Newkirk, student/University of Northern Iowa
  • Adrienne Pearson, student/Loras College
  • Lyle Muller/IowaWatch
170
Sept. 29-31, 2017
Looking Ahead to Iowa’s Rail Shipping Needs — A state plan shows demand for shipping by train in Iowa increasing rapidly by 2040 but is the state ready?
Categories: Business and consumer affairs
Guests:

  • Phil Meraz, Rail Regulation and Analysis Project Coordinator, Iowa Department of Transportation
  • Jeff Woods, Manager – Marketing and Business Development, Alliant Energy Transportation
  • Andy Laurent, Director of Business Development, Iowa Interstate Railroad Ltd.
  • Brian Buchanan, Manager of Corporate Development, Canadian National Railways
  • Lyle Muller, IowaWatch
169
Sept. 22-24, 2017
First Generation Americans — They were born in the United States and consider themselves full-blooded Americans. But the fact that their parents immigrated to this country means they often have to explain their ethnicity, and citizenship.
Categories: Politics
Guests:

  • Isaac Medina, Marshalltown, IA
  • Nickie Nguyen, Des Moines
  • Geordano Liriano, Harlem, N.Y.
  • Abraham Funchess, director, Black Hawk County Commission on Human Rights, Waterloo, IA
168
Sept. 15-17, 2017
Iowa Caucus Reform, Revisited — Iowa’s presidential precinct caucuses are the unique start to the national nominating process every four years…now there are proposals to improve them.
Categories: Politics
Guests:

  • David Yepsen, host, “Iowa Press”, IPTV/Johnston
  • David Andersen, political science professor, ISU/Ames
  • Dave Nagle, attorney and former congressman/Waterloo
167
Sept. 8-10, 2017
Tax Breaks and Economic Development — A recent deal struck to bring a new Apple center near Des Moines has led to discussion about the concept of government intervention in economic development.
Categories: Government, Business and Consumer Affairs
Guests:

  • Christine Romans, CNN/New York
  • Quentin Hart, mayor/Waterloo
  • David Swenson, economist/Iowa State University
  • Ernie Goss, economist/Creighton University
166
Sept. 1-3, 2017
Verne Marshall and his Gazette, Revisited — He exposed corruption and helped his newspaper win a Pulitzer Prize in the 1930s. But how this Iowan did it was anything but ordinary.
Categories: Government, Center News
Guests:

  • Zack Kucharski, editor, The Gazette/Cedar Rapids
  • Jerry Harrington, author/Iowa City
  • Lyle Muller/Iowa Watch
165
August 25-27, 2017
ADA and School Compliance 2017 Revisited — Now that a new school year is underway, we revisit a program that received honors from the Iowa Broadcast News Association when it was originally broadcast. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act is intended to help people access public facilities. But a 2016 IowaWatch investigation showed most of our schools are not in compliance with the law.
Categories: Education
Guests:

  • Tara Thomas, Waterloo Community Schools/Waterloo
  • Cael Rudkin, student/State Center
  • Joey Rudkin, parent/State Center
  • Hannah Soyer, IowaWatch
164
August 18-20, 2017
Voices of Veterans — We say we want to support our veterans but what does that mean? Iowa veterans offer suggestions on what that could be.
Categories: Government and Politics, Business and Consumer Affairs
Guests:

  • Lloyd Querry, Army veteran/West Des Moines
  • Lana Gillaspie, Navy veteran/Knoxville
  • Joe Stutler, Desert Storm veteran/Marion
  • Rachel Brown, Navy veteran/Waukee
  • Robert Boyd, Army veteran/Carroll
  • Ron Healey, Vietnam veteran/Dubuque
  • Ronald Lehman, Marines veteran/Grimes
  • Bruce Montis, Marines veteran/Waukee
  • Earl Mefford, WWII veteran/Hedrick
  • Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds
  • U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa
  • Lyle Muller, IowaWatch
163
August 11-13, 2017
Veterans Services — We’ve previously heard the first-hand accounts of veterans who had difficulty reintegrating into society. We hear from those whose jobs are to help veterans and tell their stories.
Categories: Government and Politics, Business and Consumer Affairs
Guests:

  • Kevin Dill, Black Hawk County veteran affairs office/Waterloo
  • Phoebe Trepp, Willis Dady Homeless Services/Cedar Rapids
  • Chris Shackelford, Grout Museum District/Waterloo
  • Bob Neymeyer, Grout Museum District/Waterloo
162
August 4-6, 2017
Controversial Police Interrogation Techniques — Supporters say it gets the toughest criminals to confess but does one particular interrogation technique also convince innocent people to confess to something they didn’t do?
Categories: Criminal Justice
Guests:

  • Dorothy Varallo-Speckeen, Moline, IL, the accused
  • Jennifer Schaefer, Moline, IL, friend of accused
  • Audio from Varallo-Speckeen police interrogation
  • Dean Strang, Madison, WI, lawyer
161
July 29-31, 2017
College Campus Rhetoric, Revisited — Political debate these days is spirited but is all that discussion leading us anywhere good?
Categories: Politics, Education
Guests:

  • Jim Bohannon, talk show host/Westwood One
  • Chase Harrison, KBVU Radio/Buena Vista University
  • Naomi Clark, English professor/Loras College
  • Sashay Carroll, student/University of Northern Iowa
  • Nezreen Iskandrani, student/William Penn University
  • Aaron Clemens, student/William Penn University
  • Alexander Newkirk, student/University of Northern Iowa
  • Adrienne Pearson, student/Loras College
  • Lyle Muller/IowaWatch
160
July 21-23, 2017
Farmland Ownership And Food Security — One important way to ensure food security in the United States is to keep farmland ownership from going into foreign hands. That doesn’t always happen. We exam why, and how Iowa law prohibits foreign farmland ownership.
Categories: Business and Consumer Affairs
Guests:

  • Johnathan Hettinger, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting/Urbana-Champaign
  • Brant Houston, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting and University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign
  • Neil Hamilton, Drake University/Des Moines
  • Sen. Charles Grassley/R-New Hartford
  • Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
  • Lyle Muller/IowaWatch
159
July 14-16, 2017
Cyber Identity Theft, Revisited — Iowans increasingly are becoming targets of identity thefts. Reports were up 30 percent in one year alone. Protecting your personal information in cyberspace is our topic.
Categories: Criminal Justice, Government and Politics
Guests:

  • Elizabeth Bell, identity theft victim/Fairfield
  • Kevin Anderson, director of enterprise information/Farm Bureau Insurance
  • Christy Eichelberger, identity theft victim/Altoona
  • Madison Wilson, reporter/IowaWatch, Simpson College journalism project reporter
  • Stephanie Woodruff, reporter/IowaWatch, Simpson College journalism project reporter
  • Erich Bogner, reporter/IowaWatch, Simpson College journalism project reporter
  • Alex Kirkpatrick, reporter/IowaWatch, Simpson College journalism project reporter
  • Clayton Bowers, reporter/IowaWatch, Simpson College journalism project reporter
  • Lyle Muller/IowaWatch
158
July 7-9, 2017
Lobbying our Lawmakers, Revisited — State legislators get pulled in many directions by those who wish to have their favorite policies put into law
Categories: Government and Politics
Guests:

  • Steve Dust, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber/Waterloo
  • State Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Marion)
  • State Sen. Rob Hogg (D-Cedar Rapids)
  • Anthony Carroll, AARP Iowa/Des Moines
157
June 30-July 2, 2017
Detecting Fake News, Revisited — How can audiences separate real news from fake news? How can news consumers take steps to better evaluate what they read, see and hear?
Categories: Education, Government and Politics
Guests:

  • David Ryfe, University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication director/Iowa City
  • Stephen Berry/IowaWatch
  • Lyle Muller/IowaWatch
156
June 23-25, 2017
The Difficulty Of Investigative Reporting — The craft of journalism has never been easy. How to address the challenge of reporting for the public’s benefit?
Categories: Education, Center News
Guests:

  • Stephen Berry/IowaWatch
  • Lyle Muller/Iowa Watch
155
June 16-18, 2017
Iowa Caucus Reform — Iowa’s presidential precinct caucuses are the unique start to the national nominating process every four years…now there are proposals to improve them.
Categories: Politics
Guests:

  • David Yepsen, host, “Iowa Press”, IPTV/Johnston
  • David Andersen, political science professor, ISU/Ames
  • Dave Nagle, attorney and former congressman/Waterloo
154
June 9-11, 2017
Well Water Revisited — If you get your water from a private well there are hazards. But for many, it’s not an issue. The results of an IowaWatch investigation on well water quality are presented.
Categories: Health, Environment
Guests:

  • Jenny and Craig Melvin, Farragut, Iowa
  • Bob Libra, Iowa state geologist/Des Moines
  • Russ Tell, senior environmental specialist, Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources/Des Moines
  • Terri Daringer, Shelby County (IA) environmental health director
  • Joan Michels, Earling, Iowa
  • Sherry Storjohann, Crawford and Carroll counties’ environmental health specialist
  • Lauren Mills Shotwell, reporter/Iowa City
  • Lyle Muller/IowaWatch
153
June 2-4, 2017
Another Pulitzer for Editorials — Storm Lake’s Art Cullen won the national Pulitzer for editorial writing. In this program, we hear from the last Iowan to win the honor, and tell about an event coming up in June where both will be on the same stage.
Categories: Education, Center News
Guests:

  • Michael Gartner, Pulitzer recipient/Des Moines
  • Lyle Muller/IowaWatch

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