Hi, I'm Nina.

I am a journalist based in Grinnell, Iowa. This is my portfolio.

Featured Articles

Examples of my prior work.

Grinnell College names new off-campus dorm after pioneering 108-year-old alum

It took Grinnell College 91 years to graduate its first Black female student. Eighty-five years later, and with growing recognition of her as a figure in the history of the college, she's still around to tell her story. Edith Renfrow Smith, age 108, was honored Monday as college leaders announced she would be the namesake for the new Civic Engagement Quad at the prestigious Iowa liberal arts school, founded in 1846. Smith remains healthy and engaged, though she's among the oldest Americans. S

In Iowa, Voters Set Their Sights on Gun Rights

This November, Iowans will vote on an NRA-sponsored ballot initiative to incorporate the right to keep and bear arms into the Iowa state Constitution. The amendment goes beyond just incorporating the language of the Second Amendment into Iowa’s law books, as many other states have done, but will instead make any push for gun regulations nearly impossible, while undermining any existing restrictions. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iow

Tenants at Housing Kitsap's Poulsbo complexes say mold, other hazards ignored

Tenants at Housing Kitsap's Poulsbo complexes say mold, other hazards ignored When Windsong Apartments resident Debbie Daves, 55, pushes her finger against her living room wall, the wall squishes and leaves her finger sticky. The wall turned wet four years ago and has never been repaired despite requests lodged with maintenance technicians multiple times, she said. Daves has lived at Windsong for five years. When she moved in, she immediately noticed mold and dirt in her bathroom. She cleaned

Meet the 77-year-old Woman Keeping Her Town's Newspaper Alive

A two-story, brick building lies empty. Only darkness appears through the cracks on the shuttered windows. Large, white letters reading The Montezuma Record span the building’s exterior. In a white, one-room building across the road, a short, 77-year-old woman named Shirley Dunham shuffles amid stacks of newspapers. Static, yellow light pours through the windows. A hand-painted, wooden sign reading “The Record” hangs from the banister. Dunham is the last remaining employee of The Montezuma Rec

'This takes us back to those terrible days:' Kitsap residents protest the end of Roe

'This takes us back to those terrible days:' Kitsap residents protest the end of Roe Hours after the U.S. Supreme Court issued the 6-3 decision that overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, over 200 protesters gathered at the ends of the Manette Bridge in Bremerton, condemning the decision that eliminated the constitutional right to abortion that had lasted nearly 50 years. The controversial decision sparked protests and celebrations in front of the Supreme Court building and in cities across the cou

Threat of $200 rent increases leaves Poulsbo public housing tenants on edge

On April 29, Housing Kitsap placed a change-of-rent notice on the doors of Fjord Manor, a Poulsbo apartment complex designated for low-income residents who are disabled or 62 and older. The notice listed a $218 and $262 rent increase for one- and two-bedroom apartments respectively, sparking anxiety and confusion among many tenants who hadn't faced rent changes in nearly a decade. "When I received that letter, all I could think was 'I'm reliving my nightmare,'" said Laurie Olster, who was homel

Kitsap parents seek far-flung sources of formula as shortage persists

Sarah van Uitert calls herself lucky — the effects of the nationwide baby formula shortage didn't hit her until April. The infant formula she'd been using to feed her 6-month-old daughter had not been recalled for bacterial contamination, unlike Similac, a popular brand recalled in February. Even when Kitsap County shelves became depleted of all formula brands, Uitert received help from relatives in Portland, Oregon, who brought her formula when Portland's shelves were full. And in the rare c

PolitiFact - Hard to pin down growing cost of unused border materials

Republicans, including members of Congress from Iowa, continue to criticize President Biden for how he is handling the U.S.-Mexican border. Rep. Ashley Hinson went to the border as June started to bring attention to her opposition to Biden's handling of border security. Sen. Chuck Grassley says he too is fighting Biden’s border policies. U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, has been especially active on border policies, writing in a May 28 newsletter: "Well here’s something you may not know your tax d

Two defendants sentenced in Michael Williams’ murder; one defendant to stand trial

Two defendants sentenced in Michael Williams’ murder; one defendant to stand trial Julia Cox, 56, and Roy Lee Garner, 59, were sentenced to seven and nine years imprisonment, respectively, for their roles in the 2020 murder and abuse of the corpse of Grinnell resident Michael Williams. Both defendants pled guilty under a plea agreement in which their respective attorneys requested probation. Poweshiek County Courthouse Judge Shawn Showers, who argued that the defendents’ actions showed a profo