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13 Fascinating Facts about Jodi Long:
•I’ve never eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Call me un-American.
•I have a pretty cool family. Both my brother and I are adopted. He’s adopted from Seoul, Korea. I’m adopted from Chicago. And my parents’ names are Dick and Jayne.
•I was a cheerleader all four years in high school. Yes, cheerleading is a sport.
•Favorite movie: What About Bob. I still laugh at all the same parts and can quote every line.
•I am notorious for making funny faces.
•I love to dance.
•Dream vacation destination: Tokyo, Beijing or Seoul. I have a recent love of Asian culture. I blame the “Gangnam Style” song.
•I ran track for over 10 years. I hold several records at my high school and college. Oddly enough, I don’t even like running but I thrive on competition!
•I’m a true Midwestern girl. I’ve lived in Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota and I still hate the winters.
•I am a die – hard Fighting Illini fan. ILL – INI!
•I’m deathly afraid of spiders. I can hardly even read the book Charlotte’s Web.
•I was Ankeny High School’s first African American homecoming queen in 2008.
•Only two professions run in my family: broadcasting and the funeral home business. I contemplated studying mortuary science in college.

Multimedia Journalist, Jodi Whitworth, joined the Channel 13 news team in January of 2013 after graduating from Northwestern College in Saint Paul, Minnesota with a degree in Electronic Media Communications. While in college she had valuable experiences interning with news teams at WCIA in Champaign, IL, KSTP in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Her first internship experience was at WHO-HD. It was here where she learned she had a passion for journalism.

Jodi served in an active role on her campus TV station, Eagle 7 News for several semesters. She also was the 2012 recipient of the Alliance for Women in Media: Diamond Award Diversity Scholarship and is a member of the National Communication Association Honor’s Society: Lambda Phi Eta. She’s even taken her journalism skills overseas. In 2012 she traveled to Belize to teach a media seminar to local television and radio stations.

Having gone to Ankeny High School, Jodi is no stranger to Des Moines. She and her family moved to the Twin Cities after her high school graduation, but is excited to be back amongst the friendly folks of Iowa. Jodi covers a wide variety of stories and would love to hear from viewers. You can contact her by email at, “Like” her on Facebook or, follow her on Twitter @jlwhit09.

Recent Articles
  • Shortage of Obstetricians Among Reasons Many Iowa Maternity Wards Have Closed

    DES MOINES, Iowa — In the last almost two decades, 29 Iowa hospitals have closed their maternity wards, eight of them within the last year and several more at still at risk of closing. Medical professionals, advocates, and lawmakers say it’s likely a problem that will get worse before it gets better. The status of maternity wards is a tale of two different stories based on where you live in the state. In the Des Moines Metro area, there is […]

  • Shift in Parental Leave Policies Creating Stronger Work Environment in Metro

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Under the Family Medical and Leave Act parents can take off 12 unpaid weeks of work after the birth of a child. For some families, they can’t afford to do that but the time they can afford to take off often isn’t enough. The metro is seeing a shift in parental leave policies. In early 2019, the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa implemented a first of its kind “Infants at Work” program. Through the program, employees […]

  • Waukee High School Teacher Awarded Golden Apple

    WAUKEE, Iowa — What is known as one of the hardest classes at Waukee High School, is one where its teacher keeps students coming back for more. “There are days I purposely leave the house 20 minutes early just to go in and say hi to her,” says senior student Kenzie Kroll. Kroll’s former teacher, Alyson Bechtum teaches AP Chemistry. Bechtum likes a challenge and wants her students to embrace the college credit course too. “The kids are so vulnerable […]

  • New Dads Struggle Silently with Postpartum Depression

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Nearly one in eight women who give birth will experience some type of perinatal mood disorder like postpartum depression or anxiety according to the Centers for Disease Control. Nearly half of those women’s husbands are likely to experience symptoms too. Andy Haberkamp is the father of two young children and admits stepping into the role of fatherhood wasn’t easy. “It’s not really real until the baby shows up,” he says. Haberkamp remembers about three weeks after […]

  • Meet Des Moines’ Postpartum Doulas Helping Mothers Through Forgotten Trimester

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Most commonly, we hear of the three trimesters of pregnancy. All of them are important for the mother and fetal development. However, a group of childbirth educators says the most important trimester has been forgotten altogether, the fourth trimester. “When you think of postpartum and coming home, it’s like “now what?” laughs Kelli Brus a birth and postpartum doula. “I spent so much time planning and preparing for the day and now I bring my baby […]

  • Ankeny Teacher Ditches Pre-Law Degree for Education, Awarded Golden Apple

    ANKENY, Iowa — A middle school literacy teacher says school is her life and she likes it that way. “Balancing work and school can be hard. School is my hobby, too. So it’s really difficult to find that perfect balance to be there for my kids at home and my kids at school. It’s hard to shut it off,” says Joni Klemesrud. Klemesrud, a teacher at Parkview Middle School, says her best friends, sister and mom are all educators, but […]

  • Des Moines Roosevelt Unified Bowling Team First of Its Kind in District

    DES MOINES, Iowa — The Des Moines Public School District is offering something a little different when it comes to its sports and clubs selection; the introduction of unified club sports. Roosevelt High School is the only school in the district where disabled and non-disabled students can play on the same school-sponsored team together — for unified bowling. “We`ve never been on the same team together, so I think that makes it extra special,” says Evie Sly, a senior at […]

  • Local Nonprofit Organization Helping Spark Interest in Reading and Improving Literacy Rates

    DES MOINES, Iowa — A Des Moines father of two is on a mission to involve more men of color in their students’ lives and improve literacy rates for minority students within the state’s largest school district. The idea came to Akil Clark after attending  one of his children’s after-school events where he says he was questioned about being there. “The fact they didn’t recognize that I could be or I had a reason to be in the school was […]

  • Sexual Assault Victim Empowered After Creative Vision Employee Sentenced to Prison

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Now that a former Creative Visions employee has been sentenced to prison for enticing a minor, his teenage victim is speaking out. The victim, who is now 16-years-old, says she feels empowered to share how Akil Jabbar groomed her and took advantage of her for months. “Knowing he was going to get in trouble for what he did. I had the courage,” she tells Channel 13 in an exclusive interview. Channel 13 is not releasing the […]

  • Teacher at Iowa’s Smallest School District Recognized with Golden Apple Award

    DIAGONAL , Iowa — The population of Diagonal is small but the people who live there aren’t lacking in heart. It’s school sits in the heart of town, a building with quite the history, built in 1914. The teachers who work there are part of its legacy. “Diagonal is so small. We have a family aspect here and that makes it really special. In bigger schools I wouldn`t know all my kids like I know them here. I know most […]

  • Des Moines’ Micro-Influencers Creating Buzz Around Town

    DES MOINES, Iowa — The digital age is changing how businesses advertise their product but a local Des Moines start-up company says it has the remedy to bring in more local support to small businesses. Entrepreneurs Whitney Warne and Emily Steele founded Brand Launch in 2017 with the purpose of bringing more attention to locally owned companies. By way of doing that, they hire what they call “hummingbirds” to help get the job done. “What I love about a hummingbird […]

  • Eating Disorder Coalition of Iowa Looking to Help More Struggling Iowans

    DES MOINES, Iowa — A local non – profit whose mission is to help those with eating disorders wants to expand its reach. The Eating Disorder Coalition of Iowa is celebrating its 10th year and has been a resource to many who are struggling or recovering like Tiffany Van Zante. “My eating disorder started out as anorexia when I was in middle school. We had learned about eating disorders in our health class and several friends and I decided we […]

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