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Sandhya Dirks

Sandhya Dirks arrived in Iowa in January of 2012 as a general assignment reporter. Since coming to Des Moines she has covered the Statehouse and traveled across Iowa to bring back stories for IPR. Sandhya was previously a reporter at KALW in San Francisco, covering education and criminal justice issues. Her work was awarded a SPJ Sigma Delta Chi and a regional Edward R. Murrow award.

Most recently, Sandhya earned her Master of Science from Columbia Journalism School in New York. Her master’s project was an investigative documentary about international adoption for which she was awarded the Pasty Preston Pulitzer Documentary Fellowship.

Sandhya’s favorite public radio program is Radiolab.

  • John Lewis is a congressman from Georgia, a pillar of the civil rights movement and an author. Lewis is getting ready to release March, the new graphic novel of his life.
  • On Friday, embattled Mayor Bob Filner officially steps down. Allegations of sexual harassment against Filner have rocked the eighth-largest American city. Now, San Diegans face a potentially contentious special election in November.
  • If and when immigration reform passes in Washington, thousands of immigrants are going to need trained immigration lawyers. But advocates say there's a dearth of them even now, leaving a void for untrained or unscrupulous attorneys to mislead clients seeking to navigate the system.
  • Both campaigns want to claim momentum heading into the final days of the campaign. This is especially true in battleground states like Iowa, where enthusiasm and voter turnout can make all the difference. Momentum is a common political metaphor, but what does it really tell us?
  • In Iowa, it takes just 100 signatures to petition for a temporary "satellite" voting station. Campaigns are establishing the pop-up sites at grocery stores and college campuses to encourage early voting at convenient times and locations.
  • The Midwest is home to the largest collection of grottoes, or man-made caves, in the world. And the mother of them all — encrusted in $6 million worth of semiprecious stones — is in West Bend, Iowa, the life's work of a priest after he survived pneumonia. It turns 100 this weekend.