News Apps & Interactives

Here's a collection of maps, news apps, databases, graphs and other interactives from the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. The projects are divided into categories. To browse through them, select a category at the top of the page or scroll down the page.



Current Events

Website

Cedar Valley 50: Photo Memory Game

By Lee Enterprises

Test your mental acumen with our Cedar Valley 50 Photo Memory Game. Match pictures from our Cedar Valley 50 series. Take it easy with our 4x4 grid or challenge yourself a little with our 6x6 grid or 8x8 grid. What will your score be?


Published: 7/14/2014
Website

Mental health and disability services in Northeast Iowa

By Chris Essig and Mike Anderson

In 2012, the mental health and disability system in Iowa was divided into 15 regions across the state. Here's our guide to navigating the mental health region that includes Northeast Iowa.


Published: 5/15/2014
Map

Metropolitan areas see increase in population

By Chris Essig

Iowa counties in metropolitan areas have seen an increase in population in the last several years, while rural counties have seen a decrease.


Published: 3/27/2014
Map

Equalized funding for mental health

By Chris Essig

As part of Iowa's mental health redesign, the Legislature last year made counties issue a "uniform mental health tax levy" of $47.28 per person. At the time, counties had a mental health tax levy either above or below $47.28, which meant the change affected them in one of two ways.


Published: 3/7/2014
Table

Contributions from the IJHF

By Chris Essig

Here's a breakdown of the $600,000 in contributions the Iowa Juvenile Home Foundation has made since 2003.


Published: 3/7/2014
Map

Hemp laws easing across the U.S.

By Chris Essig

Several states made hemp legal before the farm bill was signed. Here's a look at those states, as well as others that are considering pro-hemp legislation in 2014.


Published: 2/16/2014
Graph

How much counties in Iowa spend on emergency notifications

By Chris Essig

A total of 53 counties in Iowa provide emergency notifications for tornadoes, flash flooding and law enforcement situations. In all, the counties spend a combined $636,000 a year.


Published: 2/10/2014
Map

Fatal crashes in Iowa

By Chris Essig

This map shows where fatal crashes have happened in Iowa in the last four years.


Published: 12/9/2013
Map

Where were you when JFK was assassinated?

By Chris Essig, Chris Koop

We asked our readers where they were when JFK was assassinated 50 years ago. We then plotted all of their responses on this interactive map.


Published: 11/20/2013
Map

Corn Belt sees boom in corn planting

By Chris Essig, Associated Press

These maps show county-by-county changes in the number of acres used for planting corn compared to the number of acres put into conservation since 2005.


Published: 11/17/2013
Time-lapse

How the Cedar Valley has changed since 1984

By Chris Essig

This time-lapse video uses satellite images provided by the Google Earth Engine to show how the Cedar Valley has changed between 1984 and 2012. The photos were taken every year. The video was put together using the GigaPan Time Machine.


Published: 10/18/2013
Interactive

Health coverage varies widely in Iowa

By Chris Essig

A close look at the numbers shows that rural residents in Iowa appear to have a tougher time accessing health insurance than urban dwellers.


Published: 8/29/2013
Table

Iowa lottery raises $339 million in ticket sales

By Chris Essig

Here's a complete list of lottery winners for fiscal year 2013. Each entry includes the name of the winner, where he or she bought the ticket, how much he or she won and more.


Published: 7/24/2013
Table

State judgements for 2013

By Chris Essig

State judgments topped $4.25 million last fiscal year for settlements paid to resolve claims and disputes caused by workplace misconduct, employee errors or other damages involving government operations.


Published: 7/16/2013
Graphs

Iowa Lottery has brought in more than $310 million in fiscal year 2013

By Chris Essig

Here's a breakdown of the revenue generated and prizes paid out by the lottery in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The charts represent figures collected through May.


Published: 6/18/2013
Map

Flood gauges in Iowa

By Chris Essig

This map shows flood gauges in Iowa and surrounding areas, which report water levels in real time.


Published: 6/14/2013
Graph

Hispanic population growing in Iowa

By Chris Essig

Data collected by the Census Bureau shows the state's Hispanic population has increased dramatically in the last ten years.


Published: 6/13/2013
Map

2008 tornado

By Chris Essig

On the five year anniversary of one of Iowa's most dangerous tornadoes, the Courier takes a look back at the dramatic storm that pummeled through eastern Iowa.


Published: 5/27/2013
Timeline

A look back at the 2008 Postville raid

By Chris Essig and Courier staff

Here's a look at the Courier's coverage of the historic Postville raid, its fallout and all that has happened in the case the last five years.


Published: 5/12/2013
Map

Waterloo's historic district

By Chris Essig

Main Street Waterloo and members of the Historic Preservation Commission have been working on identifying districts within Waterloo's commercial districts that have historical value.


Published: 5/2/2013
Table

Distracted driving in Iowa

By Chris Essig

Here's a breakdown of how many accidents are caused by distracted driving in Iowa.


Published: 3/18/2013
Graph

Background checks for gun purchases at all time high

By Chris Essig

More than 16.8 million background checks for gun purchases have been recorded by the FBI in 2012, the highest number since the agency began tracking the data in 1998.


Published: 12/20/2012
Before / After

Photos of the blizzard that hit eastern Iowa

By Chris Essig

We asked our fans on Facebook to submit photos taken before Wednesday night's blizzard hit and after the storm had passed. We used their images to make this interactive.


Published: 12/20/2012
Map

Impact of the Northeast Iowa food bank

By Chris Essig

The Northeast Iowa Food Bank assists more than 1,200 households a month at the Cedar Valley Food Pantry located in downtown Waterloo.


Published: 11/11/2012
Map

Iowa ranks high in deer-vehicle accidents

By Chris Essig

Iowa ranks second among states where an individual driver is most likely to run in to a deer, according to State Farm Insurance.


Published: 10/22/2012
Map

Flood buyouts in Waverly

By Chris Essig

The 2008 flood wreaked havoc on much of eastern Iowa, including in the small town of Waverly. Dozens of homes and properties across town were destroyed during the month-long flood that started on June 8.


Published: 9/16/2012
Timeline

History of the Price Lab school

By Chris Essig and Courier staff

With the Malcolm Price Laboratory graduating what will likely be its last class in May, the Courier looks back at the school's 120-year history.


Published: 6/17/2012
Map

The search for Lyric and Elizabeth

By Chris Essig

Elizabeth Collins, 9, and Lyric Cook, 10 went missing on July 13, 2012 and were found dead in December. Here's a look at their last know whereabouts in Evansdale and the investigation that has taken place since then


Published: 6/16/2012
Map

2008 Flood Buyouts

By Chris Essig

Cedar Falls is participating in three federally-funded programs to remove properties damaged in the 2008 flood. As part of the programs, property owners are offered a buyout. So far, the city has acquired more than 150 properties.


Published: 6/2/2012
Graph

Jobless rate for young yets drops in 2012

By Chris Essig

While veterans of the most recent Gulf War have historically had a harder time finding a job than other veterans, unemployment rates for young veterans has dropped dramatically recently.


Published: 3/18/2012
Timeline

Twitter reacts to Price Lab closure

By Chris Essig and Courier staff

In the days following UNI President Ben Allen's announcement that the Malcom Price Laboratory Elementary may close, dozens of students, faculty and others have posted messages on Twitter condemning the closure.


Published: 2/28/2012
Graph

How much waste Americans produce

By Chris Essig

This data collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shows how much waste Americans have produced in 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and more recent years.


Published: 2/26/2012
Map

Growth of wind energy across Iowa

By Chris Essig

By pinpointing the number wind turbines across the state from 1998 to 2009, these maps below show how much wind energy reliance has grown in Iowa. The data shows how many wind turbines were standing in a given year.


Published: 2/17/2012
Graph

Historical look at gas prices across the U.S.

By Chris Essig

This chart shows gas prices across the United States for every week dating back to April 5, 1993. The lines are color-coded based on a region in the United States.


Published: 2/8/2012
Map

A look at Iowa's historic places

By Chris Essig

This map shows all places in and around Black Hawk County that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Published: 2/6/2012
Interactive

A look at the AHEC students

By Chris Essig

Recently launched in Northeast Iowa, the Area Health Education Center is a three-year residency program housed at Allen Hospital in Waterloo.


Published: 1/30/2012
Timeline

YWCA in Black Hawk County marks 100th year anniversary

By Chris Essig and Courier staff

The YWCA in Black Hawk County, which first got off the ground in 1911 thanks to the efforts of 25 women, celebrated its 100th anniversary in Waterloo last year.


Published: 1/22/2012
Before / After

Urban sprawl in the Cedar Valley

By Chris Essig

These satellite images show how the Cedar Valley area has grown since the early 1990s. On the right are images taken from March 1994. On the left are images taken in June 2011.


Published: 1/15/2012
Timeline

Complete coverage of the Ryan St. Anne Scott investigation

By Chris Essig and Courier staff

This timeline recaps our investigation into the Most Rev. and Lord Abbot Ryan St. Anne Scott, the leader of the Buchanan Abbey in Independence, Iowa.


Published: 1/13/2012
Map

Poverty in Iowa

By Chris Essig

New data released by the U.S. Census shows poverty is dispersed across the state of Iowa. This map is broken down into Census tracts and is color-coded based on the percentage of the population that fall below the poverty level.


Published: 12/13/2011




Politics & Government

Graph

Where the Democratic candidates running for House District 1 are getting their PAC money

By Chris Essig and Christinia Crippes

These graphs show how much PAC money each Democratic candidate running for House District 1 in the June 3 primary has received in the last 10 years. The data was collected by the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.


Published: 4/10/2014
Graph

Contributions to Iowa's GOP Senate candidates

By Chris Essig and Christinia Crippes

How much money did the GOP candidates for Senate bring in during the last quarter of 2013? These graphs compare the total contributions to each candidate during that time.


Published: 2/23/2014
Interactive

Iowa Bill Tracker: 2014 Legislature

By Aaron Frerichs, Justin Houtz, Chris Essig, Zack Kucharski, Mike Wiser, Rod Boshart and James Lynch

The political reporting teams of The Gazette and Lee Enterprise's Iowa newspapers have teamed up to follow the most important pieces of legislation and will be tracking the progress of the proposals as they wind through the Iowa Legislature this session.


Published: 1/31/2014
Interactive

Election 2013: Municipal election in the Cedar Valley

By Chris Essig, Tim Jamison, John Molseed and Mike Anderson

Here's the Courier's guide to the 2013 municipal election, which was Tuesday, Nov. 5. This page shows results from many of the races in the Cedar Valley.


Published: 10/29/2013
Graph

Net jobs created in Iowa: Monthly since 2008

By Chris Essig

The pledge was straightforward: 200,000 jobs in five years.That was one of the promises now-Gov. Terry Branstad made to Iowans in the campaign for his fifth term as the state’s governor.


Published: 11/3/2013
Interactive

Iowa Bill Tracker: 2013 Legislature

By Aaron Frerichs, Justin Houtz, Chris Essig, Zack Kucharski, Mike Wiser, Rod Boshart and James Lynch

The political reporting teams of The Gazette and Lee Enterprise's Iowa newspapers have teamed up to follow the most important pieces of legislation and will be tracking the progress of the proposals as they wind through the Iowa Legislature this session.


Published: 3/11/2013
Table

How Iowa will be affected by the sequestration

By Chris Essig

Program reductions in Iowa caused by the federal budget sequestration likely will total about $46.5 million and hit education reading programs, public health areas and workforce development areas the hardest.


Published: 3/7/2013
Map

Black Hawk County votes

By Chris Essig

Precinct-by-precinct voting data shows residents in Waterloo and Cedar Falls voted more heavily for Democratic candidates, while rural Black Hawk County residents voted more favorably for Republican candidates.


Published: 11/13/2012
Interactive

Iowa votes: Live election 2012 results

By Chris Essig

All eyes will be on Iowa tonight as voters take to the ballot and vote in one of the most important elections in recent memory.


Published: 11/8/2012
Interactive

Local candidates generating campaign cash

By Chris Essig

Each candidate running for office in Iowa has raised money from a variety of sources in and out of state. This page takes a look at five local races and who is funding the candidates in those races.


Published: 10/20/2012
Interactive

Grassley-Sweeney race generating campaign cash

By Chris Essig

Because of last year's redistricting process, two incumbent Republicans will square off for House District 50 during the primary election on June 5. The contentious race has also brought in a lot of money.


Published: 5/22/2012
Table

Projects in Waterloo funded by bonds

By Chris Essig

The Waterloo City Council is expecting to sell $12 million of general obligation bonds this year to pay for several capital projects and equipment.


Published: 5/20/2012
Map

Voter registration across Iowa

By Chris Essig

The maps show how Iowa's political districts break down between Republican and Democratic voters. The figures are based how many voters in a given district registered with a particular party, which were last updated on May 1, 2012.


Published: 5/13/2012
Table

Property valuation appeals in Black Hawk County

By Chris Essig

Hundreds of people and businesses in Black Hawk County are appealing their property tax assessments because they believe the county assessor placed the value of their properties too high.


Published: 4/1/2012
Interactive

A look at the candidates who ran for office in Waterloo and Cedar Falls

By Chris Essig

On Nov. 8, residents in both Waterloo and Cedar Falls voted in a series of local elections. Both mayoral races were contested, as well as other city council seats. Here's a look at the candidates who ran.


Published: 10/31/2011
Map

Property tax rates across Iowa

By Chris Essig

A map of property tax rates for every city in Iowa. Cities are colored by their overall tax rate per $1,000 of taxable property value.


Published: 9/18/2011




Crime

Map

A year in review: Crime in the Cedar Valley

By Chris Essig

What areas had the most reported crimes in the Cedar Valley this year? The Courier has been working hard to find out the answer to this question. Using data from the Cedar Falls, Waterloo and University of Northern Iowa police departments, we have created two crime maps for both Waterloo and Cedar Falls.


Published: 1/5/2014
Timeline

Rasberry Williams’s sentence commuted

By Chris Essig and and Courier staff

Rasberry Williams is one step closer to freedom after serving more than 37 years in prison for killing his neighbor.


Published: 4/26/2013
Map

Crimes reported in the Cedar Valley

By Chris Essig

These maps display crimes reported in Waterloo and Cedar Falls, Iowa. All data is gathered and released by the Waterloo Police Department and the Cedar Falls Police Department.


Published: 8/1/2012
Map

The 11 businesses Jay Harkless robbed

By Chris Essig

Between Nov. 2008 and Jan. 2010, Jay Harkless robbed 11 businesses in Iowa, including six banks and credit unions in the Cedar Valley. Here's a map and timeline of the alleged robberies.


Published: 4/10/2012
Map

Child abuse reports by county

By Chris Essig

Reports of Iowa children being abused or neglected are on the decline after two years of increases, according to new yearly data issued Tuesday by the state Department of Human Services.


Published: 3/20/2012
Map

Heroin usage in the United States broken down by state

By Chris Essig

The figures below represent the percentage of people in 2009 who were admitted to a substance abuse treatment center for heroin.


Published: 1/8/2012




Education

Graphs

Funding at Iowa's public universities

By Chris Essig

How has funding at Iowa's three public universities changed over the last several decades? These graphs show how much money each school has received from the state, compared to how much it raised from tuitions and other sources since 1981.


Published: 3/15/2014
Table

Graduation rates by school in Iowa

By Chris Essig

Here's a look at graduation rates at all schools in Iowa for the 2013 school year.


Published: 3/13/2014
Table

Dropout rates by school in Iowa

By Chris Essig

Here's a look at dropout figures at all schools in Iowa for the 2011-2012 school year.


Published: 2/2/2014
Table

Detailed information on every bullying incident in Iowa high schools

By Chris Essig, Mike Wiser

This table shows the number of bullying incidents statewide reported to the Department of Education as certified by local school districts. The figures are broken down by category, location and method.


Published: 11/7/2013
Table

Funding for home school programs in Iowa

By Chris Essig

This table shows how much the state of Iowa is allocating to school districts for home school programs.


Published: 9/6/2013
Table

Homeschooling in Iowa

By Chris Essig

This table shows the number of home-schooled students in every school district in Iowa.


Published: 9/6/2013
Table

Iowa school districts budget for allowable growth next year

By Chris Essig

A table below shows where school districts set their budgets at for the coming year.


Published: 4/30/2013
Table

Proficiency rates for students in Waterloo schools

By Chris Essig

A table showing the percent of students in Waterloo Community Schools who are proficient in math and reading.


Published: 4/8/2013
Table

The cost for each school in Iowa to increase teacher salary minimums up to $35,000

By Chris Essig

This chart shows how much money it would take each district to cover the cost of providing the stipends for teacher leaders, to cover the cost of bringing teacher salary minimums up to $35,000.


Published: 1/28/2013
Table

Iowa enrollment figures

By Chris Essig

Here are two tables showing enrollment trends for each Iowa school district. They are broken down by five year one year enrollment changes


Published: 1/3/2013
Table

Dropout rates for school districts in Iowa

By Chris Essig

Here's a complete list of dropout rates for almost every school district in Iowa dating back three school years.


Published: 9/2/2012
Table

List of censured universities

By Chris Essig

A list of universities that have been censured by the American Association of University Professors. The group says these institutions have been placed on this list for "not observing the generally recognized principles of academic freedom and tenure approved by this Association."


Published: 3/16/2012
Table

Enrollment figures for school districts in Iowa

By Chris Essig

The certified enrollment accounts for each school district in the state of Iowa were released earlier this week. Here's a look at those figures, as well as a historic look at enrollment accounts for each school district in Iowa.


Published: 1/8/2012
Graphs

Tuition rates and revenue figures from UNI

By Chris Essig

In the last decade, the University of Northern Iowa has increasingly relied on tuition and fees to help balance its budget.


Published: 12/7/2011
Table

SAVE local option tax payment history

By Chris Essig

This table shows the history of SAVE local option tax payments from the state to local school districts.


Published: 12/5/2011




Sports

Stats

High school prep football

By Chris Essig and Courier staff

A breakdown on how well area prep football teams are doing.


Published: 8/30/2013
Stats

UNI sports

By Chris Essig and Courier staff

A breakdown on how well UNI sports teams are doing.


Published: 8/30/2013
Timeline

A look back at the Black Hawks season

By Chris Essig and Courier staff

After a big win on Monday, the Black Hawks are headed to the Clark Cup finals for the fourth time in nine years. Here's a look back at the Black Hawks lengthy season and our coverage along the way.


Published: 5/7/2012
Map

Area golf courses

By Chris Essig

A map of golf courses in the Cedar Valley. This accompanies the Courier's annual golf guide.


Published: 4/2/2012
Map

Public hunting grounds in Iowa

By Chris Essig

A map of the more than 2,000 public hunting areas listed in Iowa by the state's Department of Natural Resources. Also marked on the map are bodies of water, parks, trails, streets and interstates.


Published: 3/25/2012
Timeline

Timeline: A look back at UNI's football season

By Chris Essig and Courier staff

After starting the season with a loss to Iowa State University on Sept. 3, the UNI Panthers went on to win all but one of their remaining games.


Published: 11/29/2011
Map

Road to the Dome: A look at the prep teams in the semifinals

By Chris Essig

Four teams from each of the state's six divisions made it to the semifinals, which are being played in The Dome. Those 24 teams are color-coded on the map based on their league.


Published: 11/9/2011




Entertainment

Guide

The Courier's guide to the National Cattle Congress

By Chris Essig

The National Cattle Congress Fair will take place Sept. 12-15 and will feature live music, a carnival, kids activities, livestock shows, art displays and more.


Published: 9/11/2013
Guide

The Courier's guide to Irish Fest

By Chris Essig

Iowa Irish Fest is dedicated to celebrating Irish culture in Iowa and takes place annually during the first full weekend of August.


Published: 8/1/2013
Guide

The Courier's guide to Sturgis Falls

By Chris Essig

This year, the 38th annual Sturgis Falls Celebration will cover 80 acres, marking this year's festival as the biggest one yet.


Published: 7/27/2013
Map

Pulse magazine racks in NE Iowa

By Chris Essig

Looking for the freshest copy of the Pulse magazine? Here's a map showing where you can grab the latest copy.


Published: 7/24/2012
Timeline

'Extreme Makeover' builds new home for West Union family

By Chris Essig and and Courier staff

Producers with 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' first announced they had selected a Northeast Iowa family for the show on Sept. 13. After unveiling the family, local contractors and volunteers built the new home in just one week.


Published: 10/6/2011