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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

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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    Workout Program Helps Cancer Survivors Get Fit

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    CLIVE, Iowa — This may be just the ticket for runners recovering from the IMT Des Moines Marathon Sunday. It’s called a Hydroworx pool. The Walnut Ridge Senior Community in Clive houses the only Hydroworx in the Des Moines Area. “What’s unique about this pool is that it can be used for training and therapy purposes,” says Nick Drey, the Wellness Director at Walnut Ridge.  “The platform raises to floor height and we’re able to lower you into the water.” Drey says […]

  • workout

    The Iron Women of Perry

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  • kent sorenson

    Former State Senator Violates Terms for Release, Fails Drug Test

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  • Brandon-Ellingson

    Following Clive Man’s Drowning, Missouri Lawmakers to Examine Water Patrol Safety Concerns

    JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri – A group of Missouri lawmakers will meet Wednesday at 10 a.m. to determine if a 2011 merger between the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the State’s Water Patrol resulted in a lack of experience and safety concerns on the Lake of the Ozarks. The oversight hearing comes on the heels of the drowning of Brandon Ellingson, 20, of Clive.  Ellingson drowned while hand-cuffed and under arrest for suspicion of boating while intoxicated on May 31, 2014.  We’ve […]

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  • Balancing Act Helps Improve Fitness

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  • acupuncture

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      CLIVE, Iowa — Acupuncture is a type of traditional Chinese medicine that’s been around for thousands of years. most commonly used to treat pain, it’s also known to reduce stress, increase energy and detox the body. “We are truly modern acupuncturists,” says acupuncturist Bill Terrell, “we’re trained in biochemistry, anatomy, physiology.” Terrell and his wife Beth opened the Iowa Acupuncture Clinic in 1997.  On Saturday they’ll host an event for the public. “Our principle behind acupuncture is to strengthen […]

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    New Video Shows Officer Worried About Mistakes, Job Following Ellingson Drowning

    LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Missouri – New information about the Brandon Ellingson drowning at Lake of the Ozarks continues to trickle out of the Missouri Highway Patrol. Newly obtained video shows Trooper Anthony Piercy, the officer who arrested Ellingson for allegedly boating while intoxicated, relaying what happened to his supervisor. “He was being real nice and cooperative. It wasn`t like we were fighting or arguing. And he goes, ‘So am I going to jail?’ and I said, ‘well we`re just […]

  • Brandon-Ellingson

    Recording Contradicts Information Released on Ellingson Drowning

    LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Missouri — A recorded interview obtained by Channel 13 with a Missouri Highway Patrolman contradicts information originally released by authorities about the drowning of a Clive man. Brandon Ellingson drowned May 31 at Lake of the Ozarks, after being taken into custody by Trooper Anthony Piercy for alleged boating while intoxicated. Troopers Chris Harris and Eric Stacks interviewed Sgt. Randy Henry on June 19 about his conversations with Piercy and other officers shortly after the drowning. […]


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