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Jason Clayworth
23 hours ago - News

Scoop: Red Bull Soapbox Race is coming to Des Moines

A photo of a soapbox racing down the steps of the Iowa Capitol.
Red Bull Soapbox officials have considered hosting a DSM event for several years, testing this small-scale version at the Capitol in March of 2020. Photo courtesy of Ryan Taylor/Red Bull content pool

Red Bull Soapbox Race — promoted as "the world's wildest downhill” competition — is coming to Des Moines on June 18, organizers told Axios.

Why it matters: The races have attracted tens of thousands of spectators in places like Los Angeles and Hong Kong. This will be Red Bull's first competition in Iowa.

  • At least 25,000 people are expected to attend the Des Moines races, with an economic impact of $1 million, Greg Edwards, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau, told Axios.
Jason Clayworth
23 hours ago - News

Thousands of Iowans seek help with heating bills

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Thousands of Iowans are seeking assistance to pay heat bills as natural gas prices soar, records obtained by Axios show.

Why it matters: Limited natural gas inventories and production, along with an increase in demand globally, are driving prices up, MidAmerican Energy stated.

  • A shutoff moratorium runs until April but, after that, Iowa families unable to pay their bills could get cut off.
Linh Ta
23 hours ago - Food and Drink

Table 128 chef opening new restaurant in Des Moines' East Village

Lynn Pritchard is opening a anew restaurant
Chef Lynn Pritchard of Table 128 is opening a new restaurant in Des Moines' East Village. Photo courtesy of Lynn Pritchard

Chef Lynn Pritchard is opening a fine-casual restaurant in Des Moines' East Village, to be called "503: A Drink Lab and Tasting Room."

What's happening: Pritchard, who's been preparing to reopen his popular restaurant Table 128, said the perfect opportunity popped up to take over the space at 503 East Locust Street in Des Moines.

  • Des Moines Does Things was planning to open a cocktail bar for vinyl listening in the building, which initially held Dobre.
  • Yes, but: That concept is now paused because of COVID and worker shortages, said Nick Tillinghast, co-owner of the hospitality group.
Jason Clayworth
23 hours ago - News

Hy-Vee stores in Des Moines area donate produce to Ape Initiative

A photo of a bonobo.
Nyota flashes some green donated recently by a Des Moines metro Hy-Vee store. Photo courtesy of the Ape Initiative

Five metro Hy-Vee stores donate imperfect or soon-to-expire fruits and veggies to the Ape Initiative, Amanda Epping, a research coordinator at the trust, told Axios.

  • The Hy-Vee donations have been ongoing for more than five years.
  • She said that's worth about $35,000 a year to the nonprofit's Des Moines research facility — the only one in the world dedicated to the study of bonobos.
Linh Ta
Jan 21, 2022 - News

Bald eagles are everywhere in Iowa. Here's how to see one

A bald eagle
Bald eagle seen in downtown Des Moines. Photo courtesy of Tom Alex

Step aside, Midwest neighbors — Iowa is the belle of the ball when it comes to attracting bald eagles this winter.

Driving the news: Not only are these large raptors actively out and about right now — you'll likely find groups of them hanging around together.

Jason Clayworth
Jan 21, 2022 - News

Polk County lands up to $60M more in rent assistance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Polk County will receive up to $60 million more in federal emergency rent assistance that had previously been allocated to the state, according to county administrator John Norris' memo to supervisors last week.

Why it matters: Polk County families need the help and federal officials have threatened to reclaim a state grant if the money goes unused.

Jason Clayworth
Jan 21, 2022 - News

Des Moines addiction treatment facility plans to expand

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

An outpatient addiction and gambling treatment facility on Des Moines' east side is slated to expand its operations.

Driving the news: The City Council approved Prelude Behavioral Services' rezoning request for its property at 3451 Easton Blvd. last week.

Why it matters: Alcohol and substance abuse has increased in Iowa, and across the country, since the pandemic began.

Jason Clayworth
Jan 21, 2022 - News

Ankeny parents call for special school board election

An illustration of a map of Iowa as a voting box.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Parents and community members are kicking off a petition drive Friday to call for a special election to fill a contested Ankeny school board seat.

Driving the news: Board member Deshara Bohanna resigned earlier this month with about two years left on her term.

  • The remaining members could have called for a special election but instead appointed Aaron Johnson, a former member.