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Jason Clayworth
Updated Dec 4, 2021 - Things to Do

Shop local at Des Moines holiday markets this season

A photo of downtown Des Moines.
The East Village Holiday Promenade. Photo courtesy of the Greater Des Moines Partnership

Save time this holiday season by shopping for wares from multiple local makers in one place.

This year's must-see holiday light shows in the Des Moines metro

A photo of Gingerbread lane in Ankeny.
"Gingerbread Lane" in Ankeny. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

Only a grinch could frown after seeing these holiday lights across the Des Moines metro.

  • We've compiled a list of free finds and displays worth the extra penny.
Linh Ta
Dec 4, 2021 - Food and Drink

The ultimate ranking of Midwest holiday foods

Green bean casserole
Green bean casserole. Photo: Mel Evans via Associated Press

I'm coming at you hot with my spicy takes for all the Midwest holiday food staples (though none of the foods are actually spicy.)

How it works: On a scale of 🌽 to 🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽 — one ear of corn is Chef Boyardee lasagna and five ears of corn is grandma-worthy cooking.

Des Moines metro's ultra-local holiday gift guide

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

We've all heard the call to skip chain stores and buy local this holiday season.

Reality check: The real reason to shop local is because it's better. Des Moines businesses are making tons of cool stuff, which is often unique and more meaningful.

Jason Clayworth
Dec 3, 2021 - News

Des Moines home construction dipped dramatically in 2020

Illustration of a pattern of houses, most of them cut out with emptiness behind them.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Home development dipped by nearly 50% in Des Moines last year as compared to 2019, city permit records obtained by Axios show.

  • Permits issued through November of this year are ahead of 2020 numbers, but still well below the 2019 level.

Why it matters: Some developers are questioning whether a zoning overhaul approved by the city in late 2019 is to blame.

Linh Ta
Dec 3, 2021 - News

Rep. Cindy Axne calls for stiffer requirements in Animal Welfare Act

A husky found at Wayne County puppy mill
A Siberian husky found at a Wayne County puppy mill. Photo via court documents

U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, of Iowa, introduced a new bill this week aimed at tightening enforcement of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

Driving the news: "Goldie's Act" is named after one of the 500 dogs recently found in deplorable conditions at Daniel Gingerich's puppy mill in Wayne County, which was shut down last month.

Jason Clayworth
Dec 3, 2021 - News

Polk County releases Merle Hay Mall collateral

Illustration of two hands: one holding a hundred dollar bill, the other empty.
Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Polk County supervisors have released a lien against some of the property used as collateral to guarantee $3.9 million in taxpayer loans made to Merle Hay Mall in recent years.

Why it matters: The mall says the financial move is necessary to move forward with its plans to build a new $2.8 million Kohl's store at the site of the now-demolished Sears.

  • Taxpayer money is at greater risk for losses if the mall were to go bankrupt or out-of-business and liquidate.
Linh Ta
Dec 2, 2021 - News

How SCOTUS' ruling on Mississippi abortion case would impact Iowa

Data: Myers Abortion Facility Database on OSF; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios
Data: Myers Abortion Facility Database on OSF; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

Abortion will remain legal in Iowa if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, but access to nearby abortion clinics may become more difficult for western Iowans.

Driving the news: The nation's high court heard oral arguments Wednesday in a case involving a Mississippi law that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.