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
  • Des Moines Police Explain Reasoning Behind Voided Tickets

    Des Moines Police write thousands of tickets every year. They also void hundreds – 284 to be exact in 2014. A ticket to Des Moines City Councilman, Joe Gatto, was among them. A Des Moines Police Officer stopped Gatto for speeding on Dec. 3, 2014.  After receiving the ticket, Gatto called the Interim Police Chief and complained about the officer. As a result, the ticket was voided. “It’s favoritism.  It’s not appropriate to do that.” That’s what Des Moines Police […]

  • Volunteers Stepping Up to Help Tornado-Ravaged Lake City

    LAKE CITY, Iowa – Volunteers are flocking to Lake City to help clean up after a tornado caused major damage Sunday night. Fortunately no injuries have been reported. More than 200 people have come to the Calhoun County town to assist in the clean-up efforts. Volunteers from as far away as Oelwein in northeast Iowa have offered their services. Most of the damage is confined to the west side of town and traffic to the southwest of town is shut […]

  • Workout of the Week: Activemotion Bar

    DES MOINES, Iowa – It looks like a regular body bar, but it’s what’s inside the Activemotion Bar that sets it apart. “They’ve got little, metal ballast balls or little metal moving weights and when you tilt it they roll. So, it throws off your balance,” said personal trainer, Angie Gallagher. What you can’t see, you can certainly feel and hear. The makers of the Activemotion Bar have a term for it.  It’s called disruptive training.  The instability of challenges […]

  • split_training

    Workout of the Week: Split Training

    When Angie Gallager is in the house – or we’re in her house – we know we’re in for a tough workout.  Today, it’s split training. “Split training just means you are focusing on one body part or one muscle group at a time,” said Gallager.  “So instead of a full, top to bottom workout, you might just focus on shoulders one day or legs one day.” Gallagher has exercises for both the upper and lower body, using the push-pull […]

  • Workout of the Week: Self Massage for Aching Feet

    DES MOINES, Iowa – From the moment we start walking, our feet serve as the foundation for every forward movement.  Over time, gravity and ground forces can cause the bone, ligaments and tendons to deteriorate. “Your poor little foot and toes have to overcome all of that before the energy is disseminated up through the rest of the body so you can actually move forward,” said personal trainer, Irene McCormick. The foot is divided into three sections;  The forefoot, mid-foot and hindfoot.  The plantar fascia is […]

  • Workout of the Week: Run to Infinity

    DES MOINES, Iowa – Runners typically log tons of hours on the pavement or the treadmill, but Personal Trainer Terri Goode says they need to do more. “A lot of runners think that running more mileage is what makes them a better runner, “she says, “it’s important in terms of sports specificity, but it’s important to take time to do some of the other exercises that help balance the body out.” Sherry Smiley is the head coach for “Run to […]

  • Depositions Released in Godfrey Discrimination Case

    DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Attorney General’s office released depositions taken in a civil rights lawsuit against the state, Governor Branstad and several other state leaders. Chris Godfrey, the state’s former workers’ compensation commissioner, filed the lawsuit after Governor Branstad asked him to resign in 2010. Godfrey claims the governor wanted him to step down because he’s gay. He also alleges extortion and defamation. When Godfrey refused to step down from his appointed position Branstad slashed his salary from […]

  • Brandon Ellingson

    Prosecutor Reviewing Ellingson’s Death Claims She Was Being Blackmailed

    DES MOINES, Iowa – The special prosecutor reviewing the case of a Clive man who drowned while in the custody of a Missouri State High Patrol trooper has asked to be removed from the case citing a conflict.  Brandon Ellingson, 20, drowned while handcuffed and in police custody for alleged drunk boating at the Lake of the Ozarks last May. A Coroner’s Inquest last September cleared the arresting state trooper, Anthony Piercy of criminal wrong-doing. But in January, prosecutor Amanda […]

  • Great Iowa Getaway: Ramada Waterpark

  • Workout of the Week: Pound Away Pounds

    DES MOINES, Iowa – If you like to rock out while you’re working out, Pound may be just what you’re looking for.  It combines cardio, Pilates, isometric and plyometric exercises in one, 45 minute fat-burning session.  The only gear required:  A yoga mat and rip sticks, which look like drum sticks, but weigh about twice as much. “It’s really fun,” said Johanna Determann.  “The word I think of when I think of Pound is fun.” Determann is one of only […]

  • Convenience Store Cuisine: Chips And Hot Dogs Don’t Cut It

    DES MOINES, Iowa — There was a time, if you stopped for a snack at a convenience store, you might pick up some chips, a hot dog or a container of beef jerky.  Well, that doesn’t cut it anymore. Convenience stores are stepping up their game when it comes to food. “We really want to be a destination for food,” said Quik Trip Corporate Chef, Nick Powell. Quik Trip is now offering gourmet sandwiches, specialty drinks and made to order flatbread. […]

  • Workout of the Week: Build a Better Butt

    Call it the Kim Kardashian phenomenon.  There’s a lot more focus on the backside these days.  But it’s not all about aesthetics.  Building a better backside can also improve your fitness level.  So, here are four exercises to do just that. The lunge is an old stand-by.  But personal trainer, Irene McCormick notes that a lunge with rotation will recruit 54-percent more muscle fiber. “And one reason it’s so high is because not ony do you use the gluteus maximus, but the gluteus medius.” […]


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,792 other followers