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13 fascinating facts about Sonya Heitshusen:
• I interviewed Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson aboard their tour bus.
• I have a crush on Sean Connery
• I took a self defense class and used the “fake to the face, knee to the groin” move to fight off a would-be attacker in London.
• I have gone sky-diving.
• I have completed multiple marathons and triathlons.
• The worst job I ever had: Toss up between de-tasseling and being a maid.
• I was a wrestling cheerleader in high school.
• I can still do the splits.
• My most embarrassing moment on the air: Saying the entire name of female impersonator “Dixie Longate” repeatedly, without getting the joke until AFTER the news.
• I slept in a car with a photographer for four nights while covering hurricane Katrina.
• I have a voodoo doll on my desk.
• I was a biology and art major before earning a degree in journalism.
• Some of my favorite artists: Van Gogh, Munch, Pollock and De Kooning
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Sonya Heitshusen grew up in eastern Iowa, near the Amana Colonies. She attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado from 1985 to 1987; The University of London in London England in 1988; and Iowa State University from 1989 to 1992.

Sonya earned her Bachelors of Science in 1992, majoring in journalism with an emphasis in electronic media studies and a minor in speech.

Sonya is a recognized figure for her work in the Des Moines television media as well as for her work in the Des Moines community. She worked as a reporter and anchor for ABC affiliate WOI-TV from 1991 to 2001.

In 2001 she left to pursue a different career path unrelated to media. However, it was not long before she realized that journalism was a strong portion of her life and felt the urge to return. “There is nothing like the daily adrenaline rush you get from working in a newsroom.” Sonya said. Now she reports and anchors for Channel 13 News at 5.

Actively involved in the community, Sonya has participated in events with: Variety Club, Big Brothers – Big Sisters, Ankeny YMCA Board of Directors, The American Diabetes Association, the Governor’s Conference on Aging and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Sonya has won five Emmy’s and received two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. She has also received multiple awards from the Northwest Broadcast News Assoc., IBNA and Associated Press.

In her spare time, Sonya enjoys running and exercise in general. She has completed several marathons and triathlons. She also enjoys drawing, painting and literature.


Recent Articles
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    Lessons Learned from Hepker Challenge: ‘It’s never too late to change your life’

    DES MOINES, Iowa – Seven months ago, Channel 13’s Aaron Hepker told us life wasn’t enjoyable at his current weight.  Now, he’s lost 100 pounds and is learning that he can do more than he ever imagined. He credits his trainer, Terri Good of Infinity Training Center with teaching him about diet and exercise.  But he’s also learned it helps to surround yourself with people who support your weight loss goals.  Reid Chandler, a reporter here at Channel 13, is one of […]

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    Prairie Meadows’ Tax Exempt Status at Risk

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    American Airlines, Urine Trouble

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    Hepker Challenge: Aaron Hepker Gets a Cooking Lesson

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    Workout of the Week: The Nordic Track Makes A Comeback

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  • WHO-HD

    Police Questioning Man in Death of Des Moines Architect

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines detectives are questioning a man in connection with the death of a prominent Des Moines architect. Kirk Blunck was found dead at the Teachout Building in the East Village on January 24th.   Authorities say his body was found at the bottom of a stairwell. Police have not released the cause of death, but they did release a photo of a man and woman last week that were in the area at the time they believe […]

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    Trump Continues to Shake-Up Presidential Race as Caucuses Near

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    Super Bowl Internship Takes Root for ISU Student

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    Workout of the Week: H2O Build Isn’t Just for the Old or Injured

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    Hepker Challenge: How Far Aaron Has Come in Five Months

    Five months ago, Aaron Hepker couldn’t walk up the stairs without taking a breather. “I measure what I can do based on how far I can walk,” Hepker told us back then. Now, barely a day goes by that he doesn’t hit the gym. “Aaron has blown past a lot of goals I’ve set for him,” said his personal trainer and owner of Infinity Training Center Terri Good. “As a matter of fact, he’s kind of hard to keep up with.” […]

  • Aaron Hepker (WHO-HD)

    Hepker Challenge: Overcoming the Emotional Roadblocks

    DES MOINES, Iowa — WHO-TV’s Digital Director, Aaron Hepker, started a weight loss journey about two months ago.  He committed to losing hundreds of pounds. With the help of his personal trainer, Terri Good, Hepker has learned how to read food labels, prepare healthier meals and burn fat at the gym.  He lost seven inches in a matter of weeks.  But about a month ago, Hepker hit a road block.  He got sick, which zapped his energy and his motivation. […]

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