Born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Justin has always had an affinity for communities with a diverse population. The opportunity to be chosen as a captain and lead his collegiate football team at the University of Northern Iowa to a national championship game provided him with invaluable experience in leadership and teamwork, while having the chance to play in the NFL added an ability to perform under some of the most stressful and high pressure situations.

His enthusiasm for reporting began when he was a sports intern at WCCO in Minneapolis. During that time, he was able to witness a large metropolitan newsroom in action. Seeing important issues resolved within the community pushed him to switch from sports to news.

Justin joined WHO-TV in July of 2015. In 2016 his detailed coverage of uncontrolled intersections won an Eric Sevareid award for general reporting from the Midwest Broadcast Journalist Association.

Before joining WHO-TV, Justin was a weekend evening news anchor and reporter at WIBW-TV in Topeka, Kansas. During his four year stop in the Capital City he contributed live reports in three Heartland Emmy Award winning newscasts, including one where he provided live reports for 11 hours after two police officers were shot and killed. He has also won a Kansas Association of Broadcasters award for in-depth reporting.

Justin considers it an honor to work in a place with a reputation for delivering in-depth and award winning news in the Des Moines area. He is always looking for a good story idea. Email him or just say hi at Justin.Surrency@whotv.com

13 Facts about Justin
1. I was a co-captain on the 2005 National runner-up Northern Iowa Football team.
2. My favorite song is When doves cry by Prince, who I’ve seen twice in concert.
3. I have played professional football with the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings.
4. In Topeka, Kansas I received an honor from the Topeka Police Department for reporting.
5. In 2015 I was inducted into my high school athletic hall of fame. Go Concordia Academy Beacons!
6. My favorite food is Lasagna -I am the only one in my family who dislikes watermelon…Yuck.
7. I have a very cute Yorkie-Australian Shepherd mixed dog named Cooper.
8. Every Christmas I have to listen to “Santa Claus is coming to town “by the Jackson 5.
9. My mom is a strong survivor of breast cancer. Go mom!
10. When I worked in Topeka, Kansas I covered Game 7 of the 2014 World Series.
11. I won two bicycles growing up and both were stolen from me.
12. I grew up in St.Paul, Minnesota and love a good cheesy hot dish.
13. My guilty pleasure would have to be Haribo Gummy Bears.


Recent Articles
  • Weed World Van Under Investigation in Iowa after Breaking Down

    DES MOINES — You name it, and the Iowa Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Enforcement agency has probably dealt with it. “You see a lot of different things on the side of the road,” said MVE Chief Dave Lorenzen. A few weeks ago, MVE officials could not reveal a date, a stalled vehicle along I-80 East near the Redfield exit and just west of Des Moines threw them for a loop. “Obviously, you don’t see many vehicles like that driving down the […]

  • Small School Teacher Wins Big Award For Innovative Teaching In Science

    BUSSEY, Iowa — Drawers that don`t open because of keys lost decades ago, “This one is locked,” said Twin Cedars High School Science teacher Mauree Haage.  Others hanging on by duct tape and science lab stations beyond repair after five decades. First year Twin Cedars science teacher Mauree Haage knew she was in for a challenge from the start.  “Our sinks don`t drain very well and so they back up easily. I had a couple of boys with a plunger plunging our sinks,” said […]

  • Des Moines Company Provides Live Public Look-In on Court Avenue Bar District

    DES MOINES, Iowa — These days, not much is kept secret anymore. Especially along downtown Des Moines’ Court Avenue. “If you are going to be out in public just understand there are going to be times where you are video taped,” said Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek. Now, thanks to Electronic Engineering, which donated nine high-definition cameras after a number of incidents in 2015 including a homicide shooting, the public can view live video from two cameras placed along Court Avenue […]

  • Drake University and Coach Baranczyk Respond To Lawsuit

    DES MOINES– During the excitement of their first Women’s NCAA Tournament since 2007, Drake University and Women’s Head Basketball coach Jennie Baranczyk are busy battling another opponent in the courtroom.  Tuesday afternoon the University and Baranczyk filed their response to an ongoing lawsuit with former assistant women’s basketball coach Courtney Graham. Graham, who coached from May 2012 through 2015, was one of the first hires made by Baranczyk, but according to the lawsuit filed on in December, Baranczyk pressured Graham to […]

  • The Thunder Rolls To School’s First State Title

    DES MOINES, Iowa  —  The name, the mascot, and the jerseys are probably all newer than the shoes some kids compete in throughout this year’s state basketball tournament. “The school is in year three of the infancy. This goes back to the first year just building it,” said Grand View Christian’s boys basketball coach David Stubbs. Teams such as Newton and Des Moines North had gone over two decades without reaching the state tournament, but Des Moines’ Grand View Christian, founded […]

  • Valley Students Say USA Themed Student Section Not Aimed At North’s Refugee Athletes

    DES MOINES, Iowa — The Valley High School-Des Moines North State Tournament game was one for the ages. “They played hard,” said Morgan Wheat, an assistant coach at Des Moines North. “We had a chance to win at the end. Hats off to Valley, they made more plays.” Following the matchup, some fans were more concerned with what was happening in the crowd.  Wheat said, “Everything just blows up after the game and I’m still hearing about it this morning.” Wheat, who […]

  • Iowa State Patrol Colonel Lays Badge Down After 32 Years

    DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Protecting Iowa roadways looked and felt a bit different when Colonel Michael Van Berkum joined the force in 1985. “There were no cell phones. We didn’t have radios when we were outside the automobile. We didn’t even have electric windows,” he said. For the Rock Valley native, preserving the pride for the badge stayed the same. “My dream was to take care of people,” said Van Berkum. For 32 years, he did exactly that. “The best part […]

  • Drake Expels Male Student Despite Female Admitting She Forced Him Into Sex Act

      DES MOINES, Iowa — A former Drake University Board of Trustee of 23 years, Tom Rossley believes Drake University blatantly violated Title IX rules.  “Drake became my family. So when Drake did this to my son and me, it literally ripped my family away from me.” In October of 2015 a female student claimed she was sexually assaulted by Rossley`s son after a night of drinking.  “There was zero physical evidence that there was ever an assault on this woman. […]

  • Super Recyclers To Earn Golden Lids in Des Moines

      DES MOINES, Iowa — Going green could get you gold. “We are calling it ‘Gold Level Recycling.’ It takes those people doing a great job recycling and recognizes them by replacing their blue lid with a gold colored lid,” said Jonathan Gano, Director of Des Moines Public Works.  To gain access to the exclusive club, residents first must nominate themselves or a neighbor. Gano says an audit of their recycling contents begins over two consecutive pickup dates.  “The solid […]

  • Touring Johnston’s $75M High School

    JOHNSTON, Iowa  —  From pictures, to progress, to possessing a brand new high school. “We are about eight weeks out from getting keys to the building,” said Johnston Community School District Communications Director Laura Sprague. Kickstarted from a 2013 bond referendum, Johnston’s $75 million state-of-the-art high school will be ready to welcome students in the fall of 2017. “It’s a solution to accommodate our growing enrollments, and now that we have it we can’t wait for students take to it and […]

  • Mother Behind Accusations Against Knoxville Superintendent Wants Justice

      KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Private health information released by the Knoxville Community School District in June has Superintendent Cassandra Pearson under fire.  “I won’t say what was put out there, but to the student, it was very devastating.” Kelly Thompson is the mother of the student whose information was publicly displayed. “It was up there five, seven days. It was publicized on the internet.” Superintendent Pearson’s attorney claims it was a staff member who posted the information.  Thompson is holding Pearson responsible.  […]

  • Proposal Pull Over Lands High School Teen His Prom Date

      KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Young love is in the air.  “He asked me out to the movies and it just went from there,” said Madison Shilling, a Junior at Knoxville High School. Shilling and Senior Knoxville High School student Colby DaRaad have been dating since October.  Colby says the two have clicked ever since, “She’s always there for me even when I’m a bit irritated or mad.” Madison added, “He’s really just sweet to me and we can talk about […]