The IowaWatch Connection

The IowaWatch Connection, a statewide audience engagement program, is produced with underwriting support from Bluebird Sky Solutions, of Iowa City, and the Law Office of Kelcey Patrick-Ferree, also of Iowa City. It was launched as a pilot with a $25,000 John S. and James L. Knight Foundation grant awarded in 2014 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

IowaWatch Collects Eight Iowa Broadcast News Association Awards For News Excellence

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

Lyle Muller/IowaWatch

The IowaWatch Connection continued in 2018 a streak of winning Iowa Broadcast News Association awards for excellence in broadcast journalism. Awards announced this year are for work in 2017.

IowaWatch has hosted public forums in various locations to explore issues that affect Iowans. The first, Critical Decisions about Elder Care, was held April 29, 2014, in Des Moines. Our forums since then have 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; how to keep young talent in Iowa, held in 2015 in Waterloo and Coralville; and whether or not boundaries exist for free speech, in Iowa City in 2016. We’ve explored in live storytelling events veterans’ issues, what appeals to people who adopted Iowa as their home state, and how people treat you when you live on society’s fringe. The topic for a May 3, 2018, public forum in Iowa City was how well the University of Iowa does providing a welcoming place to African American and Latino students.

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 5:05 a.m; and periodically at unscheduled weekend times.
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
206
June 8-10, 2018
Livestock Antibiotic Use, Revisited — A growing population means the need to produce more food. But there is also concern about what goes into the meat we eat.
Categories: Business and Consumer Affairs, Agriculture
Guests:

  • Denny Rehberg, farmer/Walker, Iowa
  • Heidi Vittetoe/farmer/Washington, Iowa
  • Dr. Chris Rademacher, swine extension veterinarian/Iowa State University
  • Ken Root, journalist/Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network
  • Helaina Thompson/Iowa Watch
205
June 1-3, 2018
Under The Gun — Journalism students at Buena Vista University who ordinarily report on the university’s KBVU radio took their questions about why gun violence continues in schools, and how to stop it, to several Iowans.
Categories: Education, Criminal Justice
Guests:

  • Storm Lake, Iowa, Police Chief Mark Prosser
  • Richard Riner, Buena Vista University assistant professor of criminology/criminal justice
  • Nadine Connell, associate professor of criminology and director, Center for Crime and Justice Studies, at the University of Texas-Dallas.
  • Dee Friesen, Sarah Nicholson and Kimberly Diaz, KBVU The Tack at Buena Vista University
204
May 25-27, 2018
Iowa Democratic Party Caucus Reform, revisted — After the close 2016 Democratic presidential precinct caucuses, the state party conducted a self-study of the process. Last weekend, the national party issued guidelines for changes. How much will this affect Iowa’s unique event, and how will it impact party development?
Categories: Politics
Guests:

  • David Nagle, former Iowa Democratic Party chair/Waterloo
  • Christopher Larimer, political science professor, University of Northern Iowa/Cedar Falls
  • Lyle Muller/IowaWatch
203
May 18-20, 2018
A Conversation With Iowa State University’s President — Iowa State University officials need to do a better job telling Iowa taxpayers, business leaders and especially Iowa legislators about value ISU and the state’s public universities give Iowa, ISU president Wendy Wintersteen said in the second of a series of interviews with Iowa’s state university presidents.
Categories: Education
Guests:

  • Wendy Wintersteen, Iowa State University/Ames
202
May 11-13, 2018
Campus Assault Reporting — Despite faculty and staff efforts to educate students about sexual assault prevention and reporting, colleges and universities in Iowa struggle to measure how effective these initiatives are on their campuses.
Categories: Education, Criminal Justice
Guests:

  • Liz Fleming/University of Dubuque student, Dubuque, IA
  • Katie Overberg/Drake University Title IX coordinator, Des Moines
  • Group interview of various Simpson College students, Indianola, IA
  • Temesha Derby, Britteny Johnson and Laura Wiersema IowaWatch/Simpson College journalism project
  • Lyle Muller, IowaWatch
201
May 4-6, 2018
Supporting Minority Students, Revisited — A January 2018 Hechinger Report study shows many flagship universities across the country have low enrollment of African-American and Latino students. But, while the University of Iowa shows a slight rise in first-time degree-seeking students from those minority populations, minority students IowaWatch interviewed said the UI could do more to cultivate a culture of diversity and create a safer learning environment for African-American and Latino students on campus.
Categories: Education
Guests:

  • Gerardo Guerrero/UI student, Sioux City
  • Miguel Torres/UI student, Chicago
  • Nadine Petty/director, UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment
  • Andrew Beckett/UI associate dean of University College
  • Matthew Bruce/UI student, Des Moines
  • Lauren Wade, IowaWatch
  • Maria Curi, IowaWatch
  • Lyle Muller, IowaWatch
200
April 27-29, 2018
Program 200: Reaching A Milestone — This program marks its 200th broadcast by revisiting two stories that took top honors in the recent state broadcast news awards — for agriculture reporting and general reporting.
Categories: Center News
Guests:

  • Jeff Stein/IowaWatch Connection
  • Lyle Muller/IowaWatch
199
April 20-22, 2018
Student Renters and City Homeowners in One Place, Revisited — Cities and towns that are home to a college or university have a number of unique challenges, including striking a balance between rental housing for temporary student residents and home ownership for permanent residents in prime locations.
Categories: Business and Consumer Affairs, Education
Guests:

  • Jerry Anthony, University of Iowa associate professor of urban and regional planning/Iowa City, IA
  • Jen and Ted Knights, homeowners/Iowa City
  • David Powers, housing inspector/Iowa City
  • Thomas Agran and Allie Gnade, homeowners/Iowa Cit
  • Lauren Wade/IowaWatch
198
April 13-15, 2018
The Legacy of Tom Harkin — A conversation with Tom Harkin, who served as a member of the U.S. House and Senate for 40 years, representing Iowa.
Categories: Government and Politics
Guests:

  • Former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)
  • Christopher Larimer, associate professor of political science, University of Northern Iowa
197
April 6-8, 2018
Livestock Antibiotic Use — A growing population means the need to produce more food. But there is also concern about what goes into the meat we eat.
Categories: Business and Consumer Affairs, Agriculture
Guests:

  • Denny Rehberg, farmer/Walker, Iowa
  • Heidi Vittetoe/farmer/Washington, Iowa
  • Dr. Chris Rademacher, swine extension veterinarian/Iowa State University
  • Ken Root, journalist/Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network
  • Helaina Thompson/Iowa Watch
196
March 30-April 1, 2018
Revisiting 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
195
March 23-25, 2018
Partisanship Still Reigns At Iowa Statehouse — One of Iowa’s newest legislators said in IowaWatch’s weekend radio report that administrative bureaucracy and lobbyists have too much power at the Statehouse in Des Moines.
Categories: Government and Politics
Guests:

  • State Rep. Jon Jacobsen, R-Council Bluffs
  • State Sen. Bill Dotzler, D-Waterloo
  • State Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny
  • Erin Murphy, Lee Enterprises news
194
March 16-18, 2018
Iowa’s GOP Race for Governor — Iowa Republicans will have a choice when they go to the primary polls on June 5th. We talk with the two people vying to be the party’s nominee for governor.
Categories: Government and Politics
Guests:

  • Gov. Kim Reynolds, Osceola/li>
  • Rob Corbett, Cedar Rapids
  • Erin Murphy, Lee Enterprises news
193
March 9-11, 2018
Urban Opportunity Disparity, Revisited — We like to think that an Iowan who gets the same opportunity as another will be able to attain the same achievements and goals. But 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
192
March 2-4, 2018
The Alzheimer’s Tsunami, Revisited — 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
191
Feb. 23-25, 2018
University of Northern Iowa president speaks — In this first of a series, an extended conversation with one of the presidents of a Regents institution.
Categories: Education
Guests:

  • University of Northern Iowa president Mark Nook/Cedar Falls.
190
Feb. 16-18, 2018
Supporting Minority Students — A new Hechinger Report study shows many flagship universities across the country have low enrollment of African-American and Latino students. But, while the University of Iowa shows a slight rise in first-time degree-seeking students from those minority populations, minority students IowaWatch interviewed said the UI could do more to cultivate a culture of diversity and create a safer learning environment for African-American and Latino students on campus.
Categories: Education
Guests:

  • Gerardo Guerrero/UI student, Sioux City
  • Miguel Torres/UI student, Chicago
  • Nadine Petty/director, UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment
  • Andrew Beckett/UI associate dean of University College
  • Matthew Bruce/UI student, Des Moines
  • Lauren Wade, IowaWatch
  • Maria Curi, IowaWatch
  • Lyle Muller, IowaWatch
189
Feb. 9-11, 2018
Iowa Legislative Review, early 2018 — Six weeks into the 2018 Iowa legislative session, how far have they come, how far do they have to go, to fulfill their agenda?
Categories: Government & Politics
Guests:

  • Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Marion)/li>
  • Rep. Dave Deyoe (R-Nevada)
  • Sen. David Johnson (I-Osceola)
  • Erin Murphy, Lee Enterprises/Des Moines
  • Lyle Muller, IowaWatch
188
Feb. 2-4, 2018
Looking Ahead to Iowa’s Rail Shipping Needs, Revisited — 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
187
Jan. 26-28, 2018
Student Renters and City Homeowners in One Place — Cities and towns that are home to a college or university have a number of unique challenges, including striking a balance between rental housing for temporary student residents and home ownership for permanent residents in prime locations.
Categories: Business and Consumer Affairs, Education
Guests:

  • Jerry Anthony, University of Iowa associate professor of urban and regional planning/Iowa City, IA
  • Jen and Ted Knights, homeowners/Iowa City
  • David Powers, housing inspector/Iowa City
  • Thomas Agran and Allie Gnade, homeowners/Iowa Cit
  • Lauren Wade/IowaWatch
186
Jan. 19-21, 2018
First Generation Americans, Revisited — 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
185
Jan. 12-14, 2018
2018 Iowa Legislative Issues — Priorities at the 2018 Iowa General Assembly that started in Jan. 8 will clash, state legislative leaders said. Even when they don’t clash, there’s a question of how the state will pay for programming.
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
  • Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey/R-Spirit Lake
  • Christopher Larimer, associate professor of political science/University of Northern Iowa
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

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