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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, including three full Ironman races.
• 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
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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 multiple regional Emmy and 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, including three, full Ironman races. She also enjoys drawing, painting and literature.


Recent Articles
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  • An Investor’s Nightmare

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  • Jason Carter Files Civil Lawsuit Against Investigators, Father

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  • DOJ Investigation Looking Into ‘Sexual Arousal’ Experiments on Glenwood Resource Center Residents

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  • DHS Confirms DOJ Investigating ‘Sexual Arousal’ Studies on Glenwood Resource Center Residents

    DES MOINES, Iowa — WHO-TV has confirmed the Department of Justice is looking into “harmful and uncontrolled human subject experiments”  and the investigation related to those experiments is focused on “optimal hydration” and “sexual arousal” studies, according to the Department of Human Services. Last month, the DOJ notified DHS and Governor Kim Reynolds that it planned to conduct an investigation into the treatment of patients at the Glenwood and Woodward Resource Centers.  The centers serve individuals with severe intellectual and […]

  • Channel 13 Investigation Into RAGBRAI’s Charitable Contribution Claims

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Each year at least 10,000 cyclists sign up for the ride and it generates about $3 million in economic impact for the state. RAGBRAI also collects nearly $2 million on passes alone, with a week costing $175 and a day pass $30. Add on sponsorships and merchandise sales and the profits go up even more. According to the 2018 RAGBRAI handbook, after all the expenses are met, the Des Moines Register contributes the profits derived from […]

  • Channel 13’s Sonya Heitshusen Part of MDA Iowa ‘Muscle Team’

    DES MOINES, Iowa — The Muscular Dystrophy Association of Iowa is holding its annual gala on November 7 at Des Moines’ Embassy Suites. Channel 13’s Sonya Heitshusen will be part of MDA’s “Muscle Team,” made up of athletes and MDA ambassadors like 7-year-old Ben Schwartz.  He was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy April 18, 2016. DMD is a rare genetic disorder that affects about one in 5,000 boys.  It causes the muscles to become weak and damaged over time, eventually […]

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  • Team Run Free: Delivering Smiles For Miles

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  • New Housing, Retail Project Planned for Des Moines’ Market District Area

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  • Governor Reynolds Paying Staff with Money from Other Agencies; Staff Says It’s Nothing New

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  • Emails and Complaints Show Long History of Problems with Bus Driver Responsible for Fatal Fire

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