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13 fascinating facts about Erin Kiernan:
• I am an only child.
• I could save your life -– I know CPR.
• I don’t have any cavities.
• My Irish husband proposed to me on St. Patrick’s Day. We got married in the Madison County Church visited by Pope John Paul in 1979. My husband grew up there and was blessed by John Paul during the visit. Our son was baptized there.
• I was once storm chasing as a young reporter and an anchor sent me straight into a developing tornado.
• I’m a fitness instructor and personal trainer.
• I played the piano and the clarinet as a kid and can’t play either now.
• I have a Voodoo kit on my desk (a gift from Sonya Heitshusen).
• I have a tattoo and a piercing and wish I’d never gotten either. (Why is your mother always right about these things?)
• I had a retainer for a couple of weeks in grade school before “accidentally” throwing it away during hot lunch. Consequently, I still have an overbite.
• In the middle of an interview, Steve Miller serenaded me with “Really like your peaches, wanna shake your treeeeeee.”
• My dad still sometimes calls me “The Dawes County Styler” because I won first place in a Dawes County, Nebraska 4-H modeling contest, wearing clothes I made myself. These skills (sewing/modeling) have gone the way of my piano/clarinet skills!
• My birth was delayed because my mother went into labor during a Nebraska football game.

Erin Kiernan rejoined the Channel 13 News Team in June 2005 to play a major role in the station’s ongoing success. In June 2006, Erin started anchoring the 5, 6, & 10 o’clock newscasts.

In addition to anchoring, Erin has written and produced many of the station’s award-winning investigative and feature reports.

The recipient of several regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for her reporting work, Erin earned a National Edward R. Murrow Award in 2012 with photojournalists Brandon McCauley and Randy Schumacher for a story about Iowan Mark Block overcoming impossible odds to climb Sears Tower in Chicago. Erin has also received regional Emmy Awards in the feature, consumer and instructional categories.

In 2008, the Iowa Commission of Persons with Disabilities chose Erin to receive its Media Award following special reports she produced on Iowans with disabilities.

Erin previously anchored the weekend news at KCCI, where she started in 1998. In addition to anchoring, she became known for her award-winning investigative work and special series pieces. In Spring 2004, she received a regional Edward R. Murrow award for her two-part series on date-rape drugs. In 2000, she also received a regional Murrow Award for her investigative series “True Colors,” which focused on racism at bars in the Des Moines metro area. She has also done investigative series reports on identity theft, sex offenders, arson, ecstasy, meth and unlicensed drivers.

Erin graduated from Drake University with a degree in broadcast journalism. While attending school, she worked as a part-time reporter at Channel 13 News. Next, she worked for WOI-TV as a reporter and photographer.

Born and raised in Chadron, Nebraska, she says her career in broadcasting really started when she imitated television news reporters while dressing up in her mother’s clothes as a child.

Erin is very involved in our community. She volunteers for various non-profits and teaches fitness classes at the YMCA. She is also an advocate for adoptive families and birth families and helped found “Adoption Advocates of Iowa”.

Erin loves the outdoors, animals, sports and music. Her favorite thing is spending time with her husband Michael and their son, Michael Francis.

Recent Articles
  • Iowa Adoptees Denied Access to Their Own Birth Certificates by Privacy Laws

    IOWA  — Deann Cook always knew she was adopted and by the time she was a 22-year-old newlywed she wanted to find out everything she could about her birth parents. “It was pretty easy because my parents were represented by a private attorney and he had information,” she remembers. That included her original name. “It was news to me at 22 that I hadn’t always been Deann,” Cook exclaims, “my legal name was “Laura Christine for 15 months of my life […]

  • Adoption Journey Comes Full Circle When Son Finds Iowa Birth Mother

    IOWA — Forty-nine years ago, Jane Metcalf was unmarried and pregnant. “You either became a single mom or got married or you adopted your child out,” she remembers, “and usually if you were unwed you were considered a bad girl back then, so you went into hiding.” Jane’s parents sent her 100 miles away to a home for unwed mothers. “My family told family and friends that I had gone to live with my sister in another town. That’s what […]

  • Adoptive Mother Overcomes Heartbreak on the Road to Parenthood

    IOWA — Jessica Vanden Berg has spent more than two decades working around the clock and all over the country as a political consultant. When she decided she wanted to be a mom, she approached it the same way. “In my mind, because I had success in the things I did career-wise, I would have success in having a child.” Vanden Berg quickly found out, it wasn’t that easy. After a year and a half of failed fertility treatments, she […]

  • Iowa Family Shares Infertility Struggles and the Path to Adoption

    CENTRAL IOWA — Two little boys and two dogs make Marcus and Betsy Hemesath’s home busy and loud and fun. A few years ago it was anything but. “I was just very, very emotional,” Betsy explains, “I felt broken every time, every month.” Infertility was consuming their lives and breaking their hearts. “That first year, nobody else knew about it,” says Marcus, “nobody else knew that we were struggling.” Marcus was in residency at a Saint Louis hospital, and Betsy […]

  • DNA Test Helps Iowa Woman Uncover Mystery of Her Past

    IOWA — Like a lot of children adopted in the 1980s, Becky Pospisal grew up knowing she was adopted. “They just always told me that somebody else gave birth to me and that I had a different mom and dad.” Nothing about being adopted bothered Pospisal until she started getting older. “We did school reports where you’re supposed to pick a country that your family was from,” she says, “and you’re reminded at those times that you don’t know where […]

  • Metro Mother Shares Her Journey of Adoption

    IOWA — Diana Lang was adopted at birth. It was the 1960s and her parents never made any secret about the way she and her brother came into their family. But both children had a lot of questions and started searching for their birth families as adults. “All across the country you get a totally different birth certificate and I didn’t have a copy of my original birth certificate,” Lang explains, “it was sealed in the state of Colorado.” Her […]

  • The Best Kept Secret: Food Insecurity in the Suburbs

    WAUKEE  — The Waukee Area Christian Services Food Pantry opened it’s doors in 2005. “There’s always been community support,” says Director Melissa Stimple, “but it took years for people to realize there is a need out in this area.” It’s because there’s a myth that the suburbs are so affluent that the people living here are immune to issues like hunger. “Now we’re seeing it increase, but also really spread,” explains Erin Drinnin with the United Way of Central Iowa, “so […]

  • Program Offering Free Sports Physicals Having Impact on Students in the Classroom

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Teagen O’Brien is ready to start 8th grade at Harding Middle School. He’s smart and funny and really into sports, but before he and his classmates can take the field, they need sports physicals. “It’s rough to make an appointment to get to the doctor’s office,” says Teagen’s mom, “parents have to take time off and they’re losing time when they’re already struggling and then paying for the physicals is hard.” Ninety-five percent of the students […]

  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Iowans Struggling to Survive

    IOWA — They are our friends and neighbors, the people caring for our children, and the people waiting on us at restaurants. 25 percent of Iowans are making more than the federal poverty level of $24,000 a year, but they aren’t earning enough money to pay their bills. These are their stories.

  • ‘Valor Fit’ Transforming and Saving Veterans’ Lives

    September 11th started “the war on terror” in the Middle East — and left a new generation of veterans fighting their own battle at home. Troy Peterson’s PTSD and addiction nearly cost him his life in 2015. “I took a bottle of pain killers. I tried to overdose. I attempted suicide.” Last year Troy told us how CrossFit helped him change his life. The response was overwhelming. The VA reached out to him, and so did local gym owners. The idea for a fitness-based non-profit […]

  • Donut Day

    DES MOINES, Iowa  —  We first met Jim Duff six years ago. He was delivering food to local refugees, and we had trouble keeping up with him. These days Jim is still making deliveries, just at a little bit slower pace and with a little help. Today, Vicky Ferin is driving. She’s known Jim for thirty years.  They go to the same church and used to be neighbors. “He always wanted to stay young,” Vicky says with a laugh, “so […]

  • Healing the Wounds of War

    WAUKEE, Iowa  —  Troy Peterson enlisted in the army shortly after 9/11 and returned from Iraq in 2005. “I was wounded,” he says. “People I knew were wounded, people I knew died.” His physical wounds healed, but the mental toll sent the veteran into a spiral. “I turned to drugs and alcohol,” Troy says matter-of-factly. “It got to the point where I couldn’t remember days on end, don’t remember things I said, things I did.” What he couldn’t remember, his […]

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