All Des Moines stories

Linh Ta
Linh Ta, author of Des Moines
Sep 23, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Stay-at-home parents could fill the restaurant void, industry group says

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Iowa restaurants continue to struggle with worker shortages, but attracting stay-at-home parents into the industry could give a helping hand to local businesses, according to the Iowa Restaurant Association.

Why it matters: Despite growing customer demand, restaurants aren't able to operate at their full capacity or revenue potential because the staffing isn't there.

  • 50% of Iowa restaurants surveyed by the industry group are reducing hours, and 28% are closing an extra day per week.
Sep 23, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Proposed plaza could reduce street closures in Des Moines

The Pro Iowa Stadium Global Plaza will be a festival hub for Des moines. Rendering courtesy of Pro Iowa

Tired of special events claiming Des Moines streets and disrupting your commute? You're in luck.

  • Plans for a $84 million professional soccer stadium downtown include a plaza that'll serve as a festival hub and reduce street closures, multiple council members told Axios Wednesday.

Why it matters: If you've driven in Des Moines recently, you're likely familiar with the inconveniences of being rerouted. But street closures can also cause business disruptions.

Sep 23, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Des Moines' got goat regret

Beer photo courtesy of the city of Clive. Goat pic: Linh Ta/Axios

Des Moines is clicking its cleats for rejecting goats as city staffers, Councilperson Carl Voss told Axios.

The Clive Greenbelt Goats have become local celebrities, while simultaneously helping manage invasive plants without herbicides.

  • "If Clive can do it, why can't we?" Voss asked.
Sep 22, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Polk County to build new mountain bike park for Des Moines area

Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Around 50 acres of undeveloped land connecting Des Moines and Pleasant Hill will be turned into a new mountain bike park, Polk County Conservation director Rich Leopold told Axios Tuesday.

Why it matters: Recreational advocates say the metro is in need of another public park, as evidenced by a 40% jump in trail usage last year.

Linh Ta, author of Des Moines
Sep 22, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

More Iowa men are skipping college

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Recreated from Iowa Department of Education; Chart: Axios Visuals

Iowa men have historically enrolled in college at lower rates than women, but the education gap is widening, state data shows.

Why it matters: Men who choose to not pursue a college degree could face career and wage stagnation in the future, according to Iowa College Aid.

Linh Ta, author of Des Moines
Sep 21, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Concert testing requirements fill up Des Moines-area urgent cares

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Urgent care facilities are becoming inundated by COVID test-seekers as more events in Des Moines are requiring either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, local health officials say.

Why it matters: Health care providers are already short-staffed and urgent care facilities in particular are meant for people with symptoms, illnesses or medical conditions that require immediate attention.

  • "That's just not a good use of urgent care," said Nola Aigner Davis, a spokesperson for the Polk County Health Department.

State of play: Last weekend, Michael Bublé drew in thousands of concertgoers to his tour at Wells Fargo Arena, where attendees were required to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test.

  • More than 50% of attendees were vaccinated, but there were "a lot" of unvaccinated people getting tested in the 72 hours prior to the show, said Chris Connolly, general manager of the Iowa Events Center.

Of note: The Iowa Events Center refunded more than 30 people who were unable to show vaccination or test proof at the Bublé concert, Connolly said.

The bottom line: Unvaccinated concert-goers should instead schedule tests through pharmacies like Hy-Vee or Walgreens, Aigner Davis said.

Sep 21, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Conflict of interest? Critics question $4.5B Iowa pipeline proposal

Carbon dioxide would be captured from more than 30 ethanol plan facilities via a pipeline across five Midwest states. Screen grab from Summit Carbon Solutions informational video

Former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is at the center of critics' concerns about a proposed $4.5 billion pipeline project to capture carbon emissions across the state.

  • Opponents of the pipeline are raising questions at recent public meetings about Branstad's advisory role in the project, and whether his appointees to the board tasked with approving it have a conflict of interest, the Des Moines Register reports.

Why it matters: The Midwest Carbon Express project would cross 30 Iowa counties and be classified as a hazardous liquid pipeline.

  • Branstad appointed two of the three members on the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), which can approve eminent domain powers to force unwilling landowners to sell easements.
Linh Ta, author of Des Moines
Sep 20, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Iowa's obesity rate rose during the pandemic

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Data: CDC; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

The number of states where adults with obesity make up at least 35% of the population significantly jumped from two years ago, according to new CDC data. And Iowa is among the latest to join that list.

  • The state's obese population rose from 34% in 2019 to 36.5% in 2020.
  • Just 10 years ago, Iowa's obesity rate was at 29%.

Why it matters: Obesity is linked to a number of health complications, ranging from heart disease to increased risk of COVID-19 hospitalization.

  • A 2016 report from Wellmark showed obesity contributes to the state's most costly conditions.
Sep 20, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Des Moines' new 300 Burger could join list of best in the city

Graphic and photo courtesy of Josh Buchsbaum

Hungry? 300 Burger is now open for lunch.

  • The classic burger bar is intended for simple, fast and delicious access to one of Iowa's most coveted greasy staples, owner Josh Buchsbaum told Axios last week.

Driving the news: 300 Burger is doing a soft opening, limited to lunch hours, for the coming week or so, as staff members get up to pace.

  • Evening hours and private catering options rolled out soon.

Highlights: The 1/3-pound patties are certified Iowa Black Angus beef, and they're never frozen.

  • Not in a beefy mood? Try the portobello mushroom and chicken alternatives.
  • They've also got fried Brussels sprouts, fries, onion rings, ice cream and cheesecake.

Jason's first try: The Caliente, a specialty burger with jalapeño cheese sauce ($13).

  • It gives Lachele's Uncle Denny some real competition as his favorite Des Moines burger.

Go get it: 300 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, suite 170, Des Moines. (In the Fuzzy's Taco building)

  • ⏰ 11am-2:30pm Monday-Friday.

Of note: Buchsbaum is also a partner in The Poké Company, a restaurant devoted to the Hawaiian specialty of marinated and diced raw fish that's in the same building.

Sep 17, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Des Moines approves food truck expansion

515 Pi and Banh Me food trucks in Des Moines. Photo courtesy of 515 Pi

Food trucks are now allowed on Des Moines' streets during special events under a new rule approved by the City Council this week.

Why it matters: "Receptions on wheels" are becoming a big thing for weddings and other special gatherings.

  • Ordinances that limited the trucks to specific zones and parks were suppressing our party life.

State of play: The ordinance change was prompted by the Des Moines Heritage Center, a downtown events venue centered around an historic depot. It's located just outside of zones that allow food trucks and that was limiting its options, Councilperson Carl Voss told Axios this week.

  • Special event permits now allow food trucks to operate on public streets in commercial or mixed-use locations that are outside of the zones.

🗯 Our thought bubble: We hope this means we see Pho Wheels and Sushi a bit more frequently.