Iowa

CHRISTINA STELLA / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA

Between late planting, floods, and trade turmoil, many families in agriculture are operating under an extra layer of stress this year. But, addressing mental health in rural communities is more complicated than increasing resources.

The ideological divisions between the leading Democratic candidates for president were on clear display at the rowdy Iowa Liberty and Justice Celebration on Friday evening.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren took aim at her more moderate rivals during her remarks, slamming them for "vague ideas that are designed not to offend anyone."

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are campaigning on "big structural change" and "political revolution." Former Vice President Joe Biden thinks voters will weigh the "soul of America" as they decide whom to support.

Sen. Kamala Harris is making a different bet.

The California senator's campaign is increasingly focused on economic challenges that, as she framed it at the Iowa State Fair this weekend, wake voters up in the middle of the night.

Keep ya head up, Jerry Foxhoven.

The public servant who led Iowa's Department of Human Services was forced to resign in June, just one business day after he sent an email to more than 4,000 agency employees that included an inspirational quote from the rapper Tupac Shakur.

He used his love of rap from time to time to "reach out to our staff, tell them that I'm human, have a little levity," he tells NPR.

One morning a year ago, federal immigration agents swept into the Midwest Precast Concrete plant in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and arrested 32 men who were working there illegally.

"I was in the car eating when all of a sudden they all arrived," one worker tells NPR. "They took me out of the car and put handcuffs on me and on everyone else too. They even had a dog." The worker did not want his name used because his case is being heard by a judge.

The longest-serving Republican in the Iowa Legislature announced he is switching to the Democratic Party, citing increasing discomfort with Republicans' stance on many high-profile issues and his unwillingness to support President Trump in the 2020 election.

Rep. Andy McKean said Tuesday that the Capitol is much more partisan than when he was first elected in 1978 and that the Republican Party has changed.

"I think the party has veered very sharply to the right," McKean said. "And that concerns me. It's a bit further than I would care to be."

The Iowa caucuses are still nine months away, and with at least 20 Democrats either considering a run or officially declared, many of them are looking for ways to stand out in the crowded field. One tried-and-true way: show up in voters' homes.

At first glance, Storm Lake, Iowa, doesn't seem like the sort of place that would attract Democratic presidential candidates.

The town of 10,600 sits in the highly conservative northwest corner of the state. In 2016, Donald Trump collected 4,903 votes in surrounding Buena Vista County, compared with Hillary Clinton's 2,856 votes.

In parts of the Midwest, floodwaters are starting to abate. But elsewhere, they're still rising.

In Iowa and Nebraska, hundreds of homes are flooded. There are lakes where fields and roads should be. Local police departments are sending out motorboats instead of squad cars.

Updated at 2:11 a.m. ET Tuesday

House Republican leaders moved Monday to remove Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, from two committees as a punishment for his recent comments in a New York Times interview where he was quoted questioning why the terms "white nationalist" and "white supremacist" are considered offensive.

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