Kate Wells is an award-winning reporter who covers politics, education, public policy and just about everything in between for Iowa Public Radio, and is based in Cedar Rapids. Her work has aired on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. She's also contributed coverage to WNYC in New York, Harvest Public Media, Austin Public Radio (KUT) and the Texas Tribune. Winner of the 2012 regional RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Award and NBNA Eric Sevareid Award for investigative reporting, Kate came to Iowa Public Radio in 2010 from New England. Previously, she was a news intern for New Hampshire Public Radio.

Kate graduated with honors from Principia College in 2010, where she studied comparative religion and political science.

5:54pm

Thu April 26, 2012
Election 2012

In Battleground Iowa, Even Office Space Up For Grabs

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:27 pm

President Obama arrives to speak at the University of Iowa in Iowa City on Wednesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

In Iowa, President Obama's re-election campaign is already in gear, with staff and volunteers on the ground.

The Obama campaign hopes its head start over the campaign of Republican Mitt Romney — who until recently had been focused on fending off GOP opponents — will make the difference in November in this swing state.

The Obama campaign headquarters in Des Moines is a former Blockbuster Video store, where this week a couple of dozen 20-somethings tapped away at laptops, painted signs by hand and worked the phones.

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5:48pm

Thu April 26, 2012
It's All Politics

Biden Foreign-Policy Counterattack On Romney Highlights GOP Challenge

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 4:24 pm

Vice President Joe Biden, March 2012.
Madalyn Ruggiero AP

5:30pm

Thu April 26, 2012
Digital Life

What We Have Here: A Failure To Communicate

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 7:45 am

Commuters immersed in their smartphones ride the subway in Beijing.
Nelson Ching Bloomberg via Getty Images

It is the weirdest thing. There are more ways than ever to communicate with people, yet it sometimes seems like it is more difficult to connect — and stay connected — with anyone.

Should you shoot off an email? Tap out a text? Post a private message on Facebook? Write on their Facebook wall? Skype, poke, ping or conjure them up on a digital tin can phone?

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5:14pm

Thu April 26, 2012
You Must Read This

Something Wicked: A Haunting Must Read

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:27 pm

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." href="/post/something-wicked-haunting-must-read" class="noexit lightbox">
Seth Grahame-Smith is the author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Matthew Rudenberg

Seth Grahame-Smith is the author of Unholy Night.

I know it's strange to be thinking about October right now, but whenever I write, in a way that's always where I am. Growing up in Connecticut, it always held a special place in my heart — "a rare month for boys," as Ray Bradbury begins Something Wicked This Way Comes.

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5:08pm

Thu April 26, 2012
London 2012: The Summer Olympics

American Whiz Rises Up In The World Of Ping-Pong

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 8:21 pm

The United States has never won an Olympic medal in table tennis. China has long dominated the sport, winning almost every medal since 1992. That's not likely to change at this year's Summer Olympics in London, but a group of young American women may be on their way to competing at the sport's highest levels.

Ariel Hsing, 16, already has the attributes of a fine table tennis player — quick hands, perfect balance and strong lungs. While she plays, she'll often shout "Sa!" — a meaningless word — to help relieve stress, something she's been dealing with a lot lately.

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5:03pm

Thu April 26, 2012
Movie Reviews

A 'Five-Year Engagement' Leaves A Bitter Taste

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 9:38 am

Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) celebrate their impending nuptials with their families before Violet drops a bomb: She's been accepted at a program at the University of Michigan, and wants to move there and postpone their wedding day.
Universal Pictures

There are many dramas and comedies in which career trajectories take couples to different corners of the country, complicating or ending romantic relationships. There will be many more, at least until someone invents a teleportation machine. What's different about each work is how the problem gets interpreted.

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4:50pm

Thu April 26, 2012
Statewide Races

N.C. Gay Marriage Amendment Has Unlikely Foes

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:27 pm

Jennifer Cockrham, a nurse from Walkertown, N.C., holds her hand over her heart for the Pledge of Allegiance during a rally supporting a constitutional ban on gay marriage Friday in Raleigh.
Allen Breed AP

North Carolina is the only Southern state without a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. But that could change next month.

On May 8, voters will decide whether to change the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, as well as civil unions and domestic partnerships. Leading Republican lawmakers think it's one of the most important issues facing voters.

But some conservatives worry that the measure goes too far.

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4:48pm

Thu April 26, 2012
Environment

Countries Losing Steam On Climate Change Initiatives

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:27 pm

Germany plans to take all of its nuclear power plants offline by 2022, which means coal-fired power plants like the Kraftwerk Westfalen, in Hamm, Germany, will be a key component of the country's energy infrastructure.
Lars Baron Getty Images

Energy ministers from around the world met in London this week and got a scolding. The International Energy Agency warned the ministers that they are falling way behind in their efforts to wean the world from dirty sources of energy. Nations are nowhere near being on track to avert significant climate change in the coming decades.

It turns out that right now, just about everything is conspiring to make it harder to clean up the world's energy supply.

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4:47pm

Thu April 26, 2012
Regional Coverage

New York state urges motorists to slow down in work zones

There were more than 400 accidents in road and bridge construction work zones last year in New York state, five of them fatal. The state is hoping to pare down that number this year by asking motorists to slow down in work zones.

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