Only three states score higher than D+ in State Integrity Investigation; 11 flunk

The 2015 State Integrity Investigation, a data-driven assessment of state government, found that in state after state, open records laws are laced with exemptions and part-time legislators and agency officials engage in glaring conflicts of interests and cozy relationships with lobbyists. Meanwhile, feckless, understaffed watchdogs struggle to enforce laws as porous as honeycombs.

Podcast: IowaWatch Featured On Michael Libbie’s ‘Insight On Business’

Michael Libbie, host of the weekday news program ‘Insight On Business’, recently interviewed Lyle Muller, executive director and editor of the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, about covering Iowa’s presidential precinct caucuses and the center’s Oct. 8, 2015, Celebrating a Free Press and Open Government banquet. You can listen to a podcast of that interview, which aired on KPSZ AM940 in Des Moines, here:

News Quiz: Refugees In Iowa

Since 1975, the United States has resettled more than 3 million refugees. Between 1975 and 2005, over 25,000 refugees were resettled directly into Iowa alone. Do you know some of the history behind refugee resettlement in Iowa?

IowaWatch Connection: Filling Gaps in Iowa’s Workforce

There’s a gap between the jobs that are available in Iowa and the skill set of workers to fill those jobs. We’ll talk about preparing workers for the jobs that are actually available, creating a better workplace, and rethinking the entire concept of work. “You can’t have a successful economy without having a relatively diversely skilled and motivated young workforce. We’ve got good people like that, that’s just Iowa, whether it’s city or county, people in Iowa are workers,” said Iowa State University Department of Economics associate scientist David Swenson. However, Swenson noted that many young workers are migrating out of rural areas for better opportunities for themselves and their families in larger communities — places with higher pay, better amenities and better jobs available for spouses.

News Quiz: Iowa Flooding

According to a 2014 White House National Climate Assessment report, an analysis of rainfall patterns in Iowa shows a significant increase in the number of days with heavy rainfall, despite no increase in total annual precipitation. Major cities across Iowa have suffered multi-million dollar losses from floods over the past two decades. Do you know some of the history and facts behind flooding in Iowa?

News Quiz: Fireworks in Iowa

Fireworks have long been associated with the celebration of the Fourth of July. However, Iowa still holds a ban on most types of fireworks, not including some sparklers and snakes that have been legalized. How much do you know about the history of fireworks, both in Iowa and across the United States?

News Quiz: Iowans in Space and Aviation

There are a number of native Iowans who have gained fame and popularity over time, but only a select few have made a significant impact on the field of aviation and the exploration of space. Do you know the names of these three Iowans, famous for their influence in space and aviation?

High School Graduation in 1896

“As usual, this year’s class was the best in history.” The newspaper reporter who covered the Centerville High School class of 1896 must have been a cantankerous, but seasoned writer. And he certainly had attended more graduation ceremonies than he cared to in his lifetime.